Advances in the Treatment of Hyperhidrosis - Episode 1
Brittany Estrin: My initial symptoms for hyperhidrosis started with sweating. When I started going through puberty, I noticed that I was sweating abnormal amounts under my underarms, and then it slowly moved to my hands and feet also. So, it was mainly just sweating more and more frequent, and in different situations rather than normal ones. I would sweat even when I was just sitting still.
I first became aware of my symptoms when I was around 12 years old. Right around when I started to hit puberty, I noticed that I was sweating more. It wasn’t until I was about 22 or 23 when I started getting curious about really what it was, and then it was just last year, when I was 26, when I got my first diagnosis.
Starting from when I was younger, having hyperhidrosis, I never really thought to go to the doctor about it until I was like midway through my teenage years. And I always talked to my mom about it. I told her, “I feel like I’m sweating a little more than usual,” but she didn’t know that it was a condition either. So she would buy me all the different kinds of deodorants. We would try different topical medications, just stuff that you can get at like Walmart or the pharmacy. She would always try to encourage me, you know, saying, “We’ll get through this. I don’t know what’s wrong, but maybe your body just doesn’t like that kind of deodorant, or something.” So, we were always trying new products.
It wasn’t until high school when I would tell my friends, “I think I sweat a lot more. I don’t really know what’s going on.” And they would just kind of try to comfort me through it and say, “It’s not that big of a deal; it’s not noticeable.” And then once I got older, I found my fiancé, and he would always try to encourage me. He didn’t know what it was either—no one in my life really knew what hyperhidrosis was. So he would always ask me, “Why don’t you go see somebody about that? Why don’t you try to figure out what it is?” And I just kind of brushed it off for the longest time because I was like, “I don’t think this is anything, you know? I think I can use medication and try to fix it. And even if I told a doctor, I don’t know if there’s anything they can do about it.”
So, it was about last year when he was really like, “You know, let’s go see. Let’s go to the doctor and see what this is.” He made me feel really comfortable about actually going to the doctor and getting my diagnosis and everything. And so, he has been a really big support system in my life.
For treatment options, my dermatologist recommended that I try, I think it’s called Robinul, an oral medication tablet. I took it for, I want to say, 5 or 6 months. And it caused really bad dehydration. It caused my whole body to dehydrate, and I was just super uncomfortable. It caused me to have dry mouth. So, I didn’t really like that option. And then we also tried a topical medication. It’s a topical liquid that you apply to your underarms and your hands and feet. And that one caused me to get rashes and burns really bad. It caused a lot of skin irritation. And then the final options that they’ve been talking about is getting Botox in my underarms and possibly my hands and feet, but my insurance hasn’t approved that yet, so I haven’t tried it.