Managing Palmar Hyperhidrosis When Meeting the Parents

When meeting your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s parents for the first time, it’s only natural to stress a little.

The typical things run through our heads like, what to wear, hoping not to offend them, to remembering all the little things your significant other has mentioned about them. With us it can be even more stressful, especially if you have palmar hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating from your palms and hands.

Depending on the background and the culture of your significant other, a simple handshake can make or break their acceptance of you. Whether you’re here in the United States, in Brazil, in Japan or even in Russia, a lot of first impressions are measured by your handshake, even more so between men. Some cultures believe that a cold and clammy handshake is a sign of weakness, nervousness or of dishonesty. Now like those us suffering from palmar hyperhidrosis know, this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. This is just a normal day-to-day obstacle we face.

Since new research about hyperhidrosis, including palmar hyperhidrosis, is making headlines, some people are more aware of it and are more sensitive to it. They may see or hear different statistics saying 1 out of 20 suffer from hyperhidrosis to 5% of the US suffer from hyperhidrosis. However, that doesn’t always mean that they truly understand what hyperhidrosis is. They may believe that your hands or any other body part become hot and sweaty, and not know that your hands can actually be cool and clammy too. They don’t understand that it can impact your writing and may question why your signature is always smudged.

Just like you, we know what it feels like to be judged based upon our sweating problem, or the medical term, hyperhidrosis. We have seen patients who sweat only a tiny bit more than normal to dripping wet. We want to ensure that you get a fair first impression and worrying about your hands sweating and handshakes will be a thing of the past. So we wanted to compile a list of treatments that can truly reduce the symptoms of palmar hyperhidrosis, no matter the severity of it.

  1. Purchase a clinical over-the-counter antiperspirant similar to Carpe Lotion. Apply the antiperspirant per the directions every night before bed. Ensure that your hands have been washed and dried prior to application. Continue this routine for a minimum of one week. If you don’t achieve a level of dryness you’re happy with go to step 2.
  2. Treat your palms using an iontophoresis machine. Follow the directions as prescribed by your dermatologist. If done correctly, this is a very reliable way of dramatically decreasing your sweating. Even if you endure a severely stressful situation, your symptoms should not come back. However, if they do, go to step 3.
  3. Make an appointment with your dermatologist and discuss oral medications, such as Robinul, which can control your levels of sweating. We typically do not recommend oral medication as it effects more than just the affected area but the whole body. However, when you’re in a severely stressful situation such as this, it may not be a bad option.