365 Million People Live with Excessive Sweating: Here's How (and Why) to Help
With 4.8% of the population fighting uncontrollable, out-of-nowhere, drenching sweat, it’s imperative we shine a spotlight on hyperhidrosis (Hh) for greater understanding, compassion and care.
The world needs to know that Hh:
- Causes sweating that is often five times more than the amount needed for temperature regulation or considered "normal" as a reaction to stress.
- Leads to uncontrollable, no-fault sweating that can soak through clothing and water-damage electronics. This makes Hh awareness especially important at school, at work, and in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.
- Negatively impacts functioning, connections, confidence, and dreams.
- Is associated with much higher rates of anxiety & depression.
- Has damaging quality-of-life impacts equal to or greater than severe acne & psoriasis.
- Increases risk of skin infections by 300%.
- Is more common than peanut allergies.
So, November 2018 (and every November until we find a cure) the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHhS) championed efforts to raise hyperhidrosis awareness through non-commercial information and support.
Here’s what happened and how our community got involved (and how you can still get involved, too):
- You told us your hyperhidrosis story and one story will be selected to be recorded in a professional studio, and then to be added to the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS as well as the International Hyperhidrosis Society's new AUDIO collection. Documentation is crucial to raising the visibility of, and focus on, the struggles of those living with excessive sweating. As part of this #MyHhStory AUDIO Project, a key hyperhidrosis story will become the first entry in our new audio library and will also be archived in the Library of Congress. The selected storyteller, and a companion, will receive travel and accommodations for recording. All entries will become part of SweatHelp.org’s written collection of real Hh voices, as well. The selected representative Hh story will be recorded during the first quarter of 2019. Collecting representative hyperhidrosis stories ensures our voices are heard for posterity. Thanks for participating!
- Watch our #MyHhStory VIDEO premiere, and share the landmark documentary debut far and wide. We launched a new video showcasing the perseverance and resilience of hyperhidrosis sufferers, and the work of IHhS to support them. We hope you'll be inspired and that this will be the first of many uncensored and unscripted hyperhidrosis stories we can record on video: stories from all walks of life that illustrate the significance, diversity and impact of hyperhidrosis.
- Learn about the impacts of Hh at work. IHhS is working with companies to educate and support employees about hyperhidrosis and appropriate workplace accommodations. This is important because, in a 2016 study, 8.8% of people 18-39 years old (key career advancement years!) were found to have hyperhidrosis. IHhS is helping companies see the benefits of recognizing hyperhidrosis at work. More companies are encouraged to bring hyperhidrosis accommodations and understanding to their workplaces, for greater employee wellness, productivity and loyalty. Human resource professionals and other business leaders can contact us to learn how.
- Tell the healthcare providers in your life about us. Talking directly to pediatricians, school nurses, dermatology nurses, dermatologists, and other healthcare professionals, IHhS used Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month 2018 as a key time to raise clinical expertise in excessive sweating. Including continuing medical education events, a directory of "in the know" providers, and targeted educational campaigns, this outreach to the medical community is an impactful part of IHhS’ mission as it addresses the imperative to improve diagnosis and treatment gaps.
- You joined the conversation on social media, and especially Facebook, for a chance to win weekly November 2018 #KnowSweatGiftBox giveaways valued at $700+ each, courtesy of entrepreneurs who innovate with the hyperhidrosis sufferer — and the condition’s many forms — in mind. #KnowSweatGiftBoxes were mailed in December - just in time for the holidays! For more social activity all year long, find us on Twitter, Instagram @WeKnowSweat, and YouTube.