Oklahoma City Resident Selected For International Hyperhidrosis Society Audio Project In Washington, D.C.
Mother-daughter duo record #MyHhStory to raise awareness of excessive sweating condition
Press Contact: Angela Ballard, RN, International Hyperhidrosis Society, AngelaRN@SweatHelp.org
September 4, 2019: Four hyperhidrosis sufferers and their companion storytellers have recorded personal stories at The Line Hotel's Full Service Radio in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the audio project is to reveal unscripted interviews that provide the public with an authentic glimpse of living with extreme, uncontrollable sweating. Called hyperhidrosis, the medical condition affects approximately 4.8 percent of the population and has been linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety and attention deficit disorder.
Joined under the hashtag #MyHhStory, the candid interviews are part of the International Hyperhidrosis Society’s Know Sweat Podcasts, which provide education and updates about hyperhidrosis and its impacts. These hyperhidrosis stories are being shared as a source of support and awareness-building, not only for people who sweat excessively but also for those unaware of this medical condition. The testimonials provide sufferers, their allies and the general public a way to connect.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society recently launched its Know Sweat Podcasts with its four #MyHhStory recordings. A married couple, a father and daughter, and two mother-daughter pairs make each episode powerful and unique. The stories provide different dynamics, real conversations and shared empowering (as welll as painful) experiences.
"This isn't about treatments, publicity or research; this is about building connections as a hyperhidrosis family, and reinforcing empathy for generations to come," says Lisa J. Pieretti, MBA, Executive Director, and co-founder of the International Hyperhidrosis Society.
Melissa Stromblad was one of four selected from an anonymous writing contest to be included in the #MyHhStory audio project as part of last November’s Hyperhidrosis Awareness Month 2018. Stromblad has severe palmar (hands) and plantar (feet) hyperhidrosis.
“I almost didn’t submit my entry,” says Stromblad, of Oklahoma City. But, as the deadline approached, I knew I needed to step out of my comfort zone and share my story. Being open about this embarrassing condition has changed my life. I hope more individuals can come forward to show this kind of support. It’s an awkward and constant struggle and we all tend to suffer in silence.”
The selected hyperhidrosis sufferers were flown to Washington, D.C. along with their companion storytellers. Stromblad was accompanied by her mother, Leslie Box, of Dallas. She chose Box for this journey because of her ability to relay first-hand accounts of her daughter’s sweaty episodes and the impacts those episodes had on her life, from as early as when she was eight years old.
“Speaking openly about my sweaty hands and feet led me to some remarkable people coping with hyperhidrosis, too,” says Stromblad. “Medical students, professional dancers – I've met talented individuals living with dripping, pools of sweat distracting and stalling them daily. This experience taught me how strong and resourceful we can be. And, that I’m not alone."
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that affects approximately 4.8% of the population. It results in extreme, uncontrollable sweating and:
- Is associated with much higher rates of anxiety & depression
- Has negative 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
- Manifests unexpectedly and often with disabling symptoms that last for hours
- Is stigmatized while being under-recognized, under-diagnosed, under-treated
- Forces people to develop complicated, time-consuming and expensive routines of treatments, hiding, avoiding, drying, absorbing, and more – all in an attempt to live a “normal” daily life and to feel dry, “put together” and accepted
- Causes sweat to drip down elbows, off fingers, into the eyes, and more
- Leads to sufferers feeling cold, slippery, unattractive, insecure, and emotionally drained
- Drenches and damages shoes, clothes, papers, and mainstay tech tools like smartphones
Yet, only 1 in 4 hyperhidrosis sufferers is ever diagnosed, and far fewer are cared for effectively with best practices.
There is not yet a cure for hyperhidrosis, and current treatment options do not work for everyone or for every location of hyperhidrosis sweating. Additionally, many healthcare providers continue to be under-educated in effective strategies for hyperhidrosis diagnosis and care.
About the International Hyperhidrosis Society
The International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHhS) was founded in 2003 by a team of dedicated advocates working alongside physicians respected worldwide for achievements in hyperhidrosis research and treatment. Today, IHhS remains the only independent, non-profit, global organization working to improve the quality of life for those affected by excessive sweating. IHhS’ mission focuses on reducing the symptoms, anxiety and social stigma associated with excessive sweating. Its programs strive to improve hyperhidrosis awareness, education, research, and advocacy. Visit www.SweatHelp.org to learn more and to stay up-to-date with the hyperhidrosis news blog. Connect on Facebook @SweatingStopsHere, Twitter @WeKnowSweat and Instagram @WeKnowSweat. You can also find the International Hyperhidrosis Society on YouTube and wherever you enjoy podcasts.