If you're one of the estimated 3% of the population who suffers with excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, it can be something that seems to take over your life. You're constantly worrying about where you are going, what you are doing, and if the clothes you are wearing will show the stains if you start to sweat.
Nowhere else is this more of a problem than when you are at work. No matter what your job, suffering from excessive sweating in the workplace can cause even higher levels of stress and leave you feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed about your problem.
If you work in an office, you probably have to wear a shirt and tie - a shirt that's thin and shows sweat stains easily. If you work in the warehouse, you probably have any number of manual duties that cause you to get over-heated and sweat more easily.
What's doesn't help is that when you do feel yourself overheating and starting to sweat you begin to get stressed, which can make it even worse!
You can't concentrate on what you are doing, instead you're probably spending more time thinking about how to avoid or conceal the problem. It can make it difficult to do your job properly or work in close proximity with others without you feeling overly self-conscious. You probably don't need me to tell you this, after all it's most likely something that affects you every time you go to work.
Just to get through the day you might have tried all sorts of methods to cover up your problem:
- wearing t-shirts under your shirt or overalls
- drying your sweat patches with the toilet hand-dryer
- keeping your suit jacket on in the office even when it's 90 degrees
- changing your shirt once, or even twice a day
- constantly applying anti-perspirants to combat the problem
But these just mask the issue and don't stop you worrying about it, so whilst your colleagues might not notice your excessive sweating, how much time are you spending hiding it from them that you could be spending being more effective at your job?
In short, worrying about your hyperhidrosis can take over your whole day, but you've probably never really realised to what extent.
A study by the International Hyperhidrosis Society found that in a recent survey of adults "62 percent find that job-related issues, such as confronting a boss or going on an interview, make them sweat more than any other circumstances".
In another of their studies they also found that people who suffered from excessive sweating in the workplace were limited in performing physically demanding tasks 25% of the time, in mental and interpersonal tasks 20% of the time, in time management 17% of the time, and in work output 11% of the time."
So not only is hyperhidrosis affecting how you feel at work, it's also effecting how you perform at work - and the chances are you probably hadn't even noticed.
The study went on to say that whilst probably not recognised as such, excessive sweating is a problem that can cause limitations of performance in the workplace "similar to those experienced by workers suffering from depression, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis."
If you're office is air-conditioned, or you don't have to do too much manual labour, you might be lucky and be able to cope with your excessive sweating. But imagine how much better work would be if you didn't have to worry about it at all? Imagine if you were able to cure it, naturally, and more importantly, permanently?
Organisations like the IHHS are working to raise awareness of excessive sweating as a problem, in the workplace and in other areas of sufferers' lives. There are a range of options out there for people with hyperhidrosis, for more information on one of them see the details below.