A woman, who lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, has opened about her rare condition that makes her sweat excessively from her hands and feet. Lydia Carroll has spoken out to make people understand hyperhidrosis and why they need to stop seeing her as "gross and unhygienic".
The 32-year-old, originally from Australia, who regularly posts about her condition on Instagram using the hashtag #normalisesweating, believes that someday people will understand her. Carroll said she has been suffering from the condition since she was a baby.
"As a baby, I'd be in my bouncer and sweat would be dripping off my feet onto the floor. When I was young, I didn't care what people thought but, as a teen, I grew more and more self-conscious," the woman said, adding she lost her cool at the age of 16 and asked her parents to take her to a doctor when she was diagnosed with hyperhidrosis.
"My friends and family were all supportive, but I worried about boys thinking I was disgusting. I remember one boy turning around to talk to me on the school bus.
"I tried to hide my hands from him, as I could feel them sweating, and by the time he got off there was literally a puddle on the vinyl seat underneath them," Carroll was quoted as saying by The Sun.
The bakery worker has now come to terms with her condition but feels dating is still a tricky affair. "I'm happily single at the moment, but it does make dating hard. I've accepted my condition and feel confident in myself, but it's always a struggle to decide how to bring it up to men. It's not something you just blurt out," she added.
Not only dealing with the boys, fashion choice is also a complex issue for Carroll, who can only wear certain fabrics, like cotton or denim, as other materials with no absorbent quality would leave her soaked in sweat.
"It really affects what I can wear. For example, I can't wear strappy shoes, as my feet get too wet and I slide around in them. I get really anxious if I don't have something with me that'll help, like a fan or towel. Mercifully, I have no issues with body odour," she said.
Despite of all these challenges, Carroll is positive and hopes someday doctors will find a treatment for the rare condition. "I'm excited to see if there is a cure in the future. For now, I wish people would stop expecting perfection from each other, then people like me wouldn't feel as if we have to hide," she said.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis, commonly known as polyhidrosis or sudorrhea, is a condition that leads to excessive sweating in some people. It is said that only 1% of the entire population suffers from this condition given that in most of the cases it goes undiagnosed.
Hyperhidrosis has been categorised into two sets – generalised and localised. When sweating occurs in the whole body, it's called generalised, while sweating occurring in hands, feet, armpits, groin, and the facial area comes under localised.
Neurologic, endocrine, infectious, and other systemic diseases are the possible causes behind hyperhidrosis. But it sometimes hits otherwise healthy people also.
For now, no permanent cure for the condition is reportedly available. But according to WebMD, a systematic evaluation of the condition, followed by a cautious, step-wise approach to treatment might help in getting desired results.