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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 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 if you have this condition as a child.  
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.
 
 


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!
 
 
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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.
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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.
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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

 
 
Our new ad campaign is running in selected college and university student newspapers across the US and Canada. We would love to hear your comments. Like, don`t like....let us know.
 
 
As promised last month, we have more results from our Living Life survey. On our home page we refer to focal hyperhidrosis as the 'silent handicap' and the following results support this notion. In our last post we mentioned that almost 9 out of 10 respondents said they had experienced embarrassment or felt self-conscious in the two weeks previous to answering the questionnaire.  
The condition is also problematic on a daily basis. Half the respondents mentioned that their sweating condition interfered significantly with their work or studying. Another 40% said that the condition interfered 'a little' with regards to these activities. Half or 50% mentioned that their condition interfered significantly with daily activities such as shopping or household chores.
The problem is not limited to social or work settings. In the bedroom, hyperhidrosis interferes significantly in 20% of individuals. Close to another 25% mention that it interferered 'a little'. But the problems in the bedroom don't stop there. About three quaters of individuals report that hyperhidrosis dictates the type of clothing they will wear.
In the coming weeks we will share results from our other surveys (gustatory sweating and its triggers, genetic links, surgery etc.) 
..
On another note, if you know a child that may have hyperhidrosis, make sure to refer their mom or dad to our website. We have a section that discusses the problem in children as well as some Back to School help for parents. In a study in Pediatric Dermatology, researchers from the University of Texas consider gels such as DryDerm first-line treatment in children with hyperhidrosis.
 
 
For those among us that deal with hyperhidrosis, there is no question that this condition has an impact on the way we live our lives. Many studies have shown that hyperhidrosis has an impact from a social, emotional, and professional perspective. But very few 'real life' surveys have been conducted among people with this condition. And so, we decided to try to survey individuals with excessive sweating to determine to what degree this problem affects their daily lives. For the first time, we share some of these results with you. 
Most individuals that responded suffered from excessive sweating in the underarm region (60%). A little over half had hyperhidrosis in the facial area and almost half had palmar hyperhidrosis. When asked to what degree their condition interfered with socializing, 20% said the problem 'interfered very much' and two-thirds mentioned 'interfered a lot'. 

What about relationships? More than half said their condition interfered very much or a lot with relationships with partners, friends and/or relatives. Similarly, 40% mentioned that the condition interferes with playing or participating in an outdoor game or sport (for example biking, hiking, golf etc.). From a more personal perspective, more than 90% of individuals said that their condition caused them to be self-concious or embarassed in the last one to two weeks.
More results to come in our October post. 
 
 
In September we will present some of the results from our on-going surveys. These results will provide a 'window' on the lives of individuals with focal hyperhidrosis. Topics include quality of life, heredity, surgery and gustatory sweating. 

These surveys are anonymous and remain open. The more people participate, the more reliable are the results. If you have focal hyperhidrosis, feel free to participate. Click on the surveys link to access all our questionnaires.

We are on vacation in August and take a break from our Sweating Matters blog. It's business as usual for the rest of the Dry Pharmacist services including the Dry Pharmacy and Ask the Dry Pharmacist. 
Thanks for your continued support and see you back here in September.
 
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    The Focal Hyperhidrosis Learning Center

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    Wonder how much Your Condition is Interfering with Your Life?
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