If you haven't visited our site in a few weeks you may not be aware of DryDerm G. The Dry Pharmacist introduced this product a few weeks ago in efforts to treat gustatory sweating, a type of hyperhidrosis associated with the ingestion of certain so-called 'trigger' foods. 
Typically the excessive sweating is in the facial region. DryDerm G is a 1% cream that contains glycopyrrolate. This ingredient has been shown to be very effective is a variety of studies. We created a page that demonstrates glycopyrrolate's activity on sweat glands and how it stops them from producing sweat. 
An international team of researchers has discovered a mutation in a gene that results in a condition called anhydrosis. This condition is at the other end of the ‘sweating spectrum', that is, an inability to sweat which can result in hyperthermia or heatstroke. Although hyperhidrosis is a bothersome and distressing problem, anhydrosis is a potentially lethal condition due to the body’s inability to cool down or self-regulate internal temperature increases.
The researchers came across a family with several members having this disorder. Although their sweat glands appeared normal from an anatomical or structural perspective, their ability to function properly was problematic. After performing an analysis of their genome, the researchers noticed an anomaly in a gene called ITPR2. This gene is responsible for coding or the production of a so-called ‘channel protein’.  These proteins are responsible for the flow of ions (e.g. calcium, potassium, sodium) across membranes - those of cells or organelles within cells. These are ‘smart’ proteins and only allow specific amounts of ions to enter and leave cells. This flow of ions often triggers a cascade of cellular reactions resulting in a specific outcome. In this case, the production of sweat. An alteration in the gene that codes for this protein will result in faulty cellular channels and a sweating disorder such as anhydrosis. A better understanding of how this mutation arises could eventually help treat or prevent this condition.
What is equally interesting is the idea that by inhibiting this channel protein we may be able to inhibit the flow of sweat. One of the hurdles in developing a drug that would inhibit this channel protein is the fact that this type of protein is also found in other tissues. The ideal agent would be one that is specific to the channel proteins found in sweat glands.
Introduced in 1861, Hamlin's Wizard Oil claimed to cure deafness, earaches, neuralgia, sprains, cramps, bleeding gums, cholera, ulcers, 'bites of dogs'. In 1916, Lawrence B. Hamlin was fined $200 for publicly claiming the oil could 'check the growth and permanently kill cancer'. Among the ingredients in Hamlin's: ammonia, chloroform, and turpentine
The internet is inundated with treatments that claim to alleviate all sorts of medical conditions. Seems Hyperhidrosis is no exception. What separates proven effective treatments from those that claim to be, is clinical evidence. Having said this, the evidence must come from statistically significant results that are bourne from robust clinical trials. 
And so, we decided to explore the internet and bring forward several questionable hyperhidrosis treatments. We created a page highlighting these so-called treatments. While some of these 'therapies' may provide a degree of relief from sweaty symptoms, they have not been put through the rigour of clinical studies.

As such, these treatments remain unproven and their claims are based on anecdotal evidence. Might some of these be 'snake oil' treatments? Could some be relying on a placebo effect? An unlikely phenomenon when it comes to excessive sweating given the placebo effect is based on perception. 
Feel free to peruse our Snake Oils and Placebos page for more details. Maybe some of these treatments have worked for you, maybe not. Are you aware of some dubious hyperhidrosis treatments that we are not aware of? Let us know - we included a comment box at the bottom of the page

Having recently developed our 'Crazy Sweat Facts' page for kids, it became clear how amazing the human sweat gland really is. While digging for zany facts kids would enjoy reading, we came across some pretty outstanding figures related to these little sweat factories. Consider the following, and I think you will agree. 
To start with, sweat glands are tiny. Side by side, you could fit, on average, about 30 sweat glands across the face of a dime. Most sweat glands are concentrated on the soles of our feet - using the dime again, about 1600 glands squeeze into an area the size of that coin. A single sweat gland produces 10 nanoliters of sweat per minute. For the less scientifically inclined, a nanoliter is one billionth of a liter. To put that in perspective, it would take a sweat gland about 35 days to fill one teaspoon. Having said that, systemically, humans can produce up to 3.7 liters of sweat per hour. That's one teaspoon every 5 seconds! Given that sweat contains 0.5% salt, my pharmacist background immediately converts that ratio into a logical value, that is, mass or weight. In other words, 3.7 L of perspiration would yield 18.5g of salt. That's roughly 4 teaspoons of salt per hour. It's no wonder Gatorade sales are in excess of 3 billions dollars annually and the brand is estimated to be worth about 5 billion dollars*. 
*Forbes, 2012
Go to Kid's Corner page
We decided to create a children's page (including a Crazy Sweat Facts page) because there appears to be very little focus on children when it comes to focal hyperhidrosis. The condition is bad enough when you are an adult, imagine having hyperhidrosis as a child. Having said this, quite a number of young people know the feeling. In fact, it is estimated that 0.6% of children and 1.6% of adolescents have hyperhidrosis. Doesn't sound like much, but that's about 1 in 150 kids (1 in 60 teens). This also means that you are pretty isolated among your peers if you have this condition as a child or teen.

We are hoping the page will help parents and children to cope better with their condition. As usual, your comments and feedback are always welcome. Tell us what you think, help us improve our Kid's Corner page with your suggestions.
Go to Crazy Sweat Facts page

Drop by our new page featuring results from our Gustatory Sweating Survey (click icon). If you haven't done so, make sure to take our gustatory sweating survey while you are at it. 
Only a few minutes required and all responses remain anonymous. 

This Fall (see posts in Sept and Oct) we reported on results from our Hyperhidrosis Living Life survey. As a follow up, we are happy to report on data from our Gustatory Sweating survey. For those not aware, this type of excessive sweating occurs in the facial area and is associated with consuming food and/or drink. We will briefly touch on some aspects of the survey but details will be available in a few weeks from the webpage (see tabs under Hyperhidrosis Survey Results) we are creating. Here are some highlights:
  • One quarter of respondents also have diabetes
  • The principal regions that are affected include the forehead (over 90%), face and scalp (3/4). About 2/3 report temples, cheeks and neck involvement. One third of respondents also have sweating of the lips and chest. This is significantly different from the regions involved in focal hyperhidrosis, usually underarms, palms and/or soles. 
  • While sight (30%) and smell (50%) of food often stimulates sweating, 70% of respondents mentioned that thinking of food also makes them sweat. That response was a surprise. 
  • The main food culprit is spicy foods (2/3 responding to this food type). About half cite vinegar, salt/salty food and ethic (e.g. Asian/Indian) food, alcohol and citrus juices. Other foods were also cited including some unexpected reports such as ice cream, sweets and yogurt. 
Make sure you visit our Gustatory Sweating Survey Results page for more details in the next few weeks. Happy 2015 !


Happy Holidays to all of our readers and thanks for your continued support!
The basics behind water wicking
Water wicking fabrics can play an important role in the life of those of us that sweat excessively. It's important to understand how these fabrics work so that the purchasing experience can be optimized both from a effectiveness and dollar perspective. Water wicking is a fabric's ability to pull water away from the body's surface and depends on two principles, percolation and evaporation. Essentially, percolation refers to a fabric's capacity
to absorb and transport water away from the skin it covers. Having said this, it is equally important for the fabric to be able to rid itself of the water it absorbs through the process of evaporation. So, on the one hand a fabric must absorb water, and on the other, it must dispose of it.
How a fabric performs on both these levels depends on the recipe used to make the fabric. For example, a natural fiber may be able to absorb better than a synthetic fiber but the latter may dry faster. Manufacturers have played with different natural/synthetic fiber mixes in efforts to develop fabrics that effectively wick and dry. In our last blog we talked about cotton and its ability to absorb water. Although it remains a choice fabric for comfort and its ability to 'breathe', it is not the ideal moisture wicking fabric. Its ability to dry remains on the 'slowish' side. To quote a professor of textile chemistry at the University of Nebraska, Yiqi Yang says: 'you want [the fabric] to wick water as good as cotton, but you don't want it soaked'

In contrast to cotton, the synthetic fiber polyester wants nothing to do with water. Its capacity to absorb is poor but its ability to rid itself of the water with which it comes into contact is very good.
Altered polyester fiber with water wicking channels
As a result, some manufacturers have chosen to weave cotton/polyester fiber mixes (e.g. 85% polyester/15% cotton) that do a great job at keeping the body dry. Others have chosen to actually make changes in the physical shape ( more or less a clover-leaf shape) of the polyester fiber, creating channels which draw and expel water away from the skin's surface.
Silver impregnated fibers destroy bacteria that are the source of malodour.

Finally, some fabrics may contains silver. Silver ions have long been known to have bacteriostatic activity. Applying this notion to fabrics has provided clothing that wards off potential odour-causing bacteria. 

In our next posting we will review results from our Gustatory Sweating survey.
Lots of very interesting information to come. 
So stay tuned!

You are probably already aware that cotton 'breathes' better than synthetic fabrics. As such, cotton fabric is often preferred for individuals looking for clothing that will minimize perspiration. A new study* now confirms that cotton is indeed the choice fabric for those of us that sweat excessively or for those among us that wish to remain dry.
The study showed that textiles can harbour microorganisms and sweat that both originate from the surface of our skin. Investigators looked at the degree to which microbial growth and odor developed within cotton and polyester fabrics. T-shirts from 26 healthy individuals were collected after intense spinning sessions. These were subsequently incubated for 28 hours to encourage microbial growth. The polyester T-shirts smelled significantly less pleasant and more intense compared to the cotton T-shirts. The cotton fabric also encouraged bacterial growth from a multitude of strains while odor causing microorganisms were more commonly found within synthetic fabric.
The next time you are purchasing clothing let this study be a reminder that cotton should be your go-to fabric. For more information on this subject, click here to access pertinent pages from our website.

Next month we will look more closely at the principle of water 'wicking' and how it relates to a number of fabrics. Fabrics and their ability to wick water is an important tool in the fight against hyperhidrosis. For now, feel free to consult our Stay Dry Tips for a brief review of water wicking.

*Callewaert, C et.al. Apply Environ Microbiol, Nov 2014

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