Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Plantar Hyperhidrosis

For years I asked the question; why me?  And now I know I suffered from a bizarre foot thingy called Plantar Hyperhidrosis.

I've always been light on my feet and could move about without scuffing my shoes, which is not to say I could keep my feet clean because until recent years I always managed to attract every bit of dirt to stick to them.  In fact, I'd be willing to bet my dogs have cleaner feet than I have.  This is something I've had to live with since I was a pup...ahem...child.  I meant child.

I can remember playing in the back yard with the neighbor kids.  During the Summer we'd all have sandals on but it wouldn't matter much in my case, I always looked like I'd just finished a soft shoe in the dust.  Dirt just stuck to me. Partly because my feet were always wet.  They perspired so much it was embarrassing.    I recall one day in particular when us kids had finished playing in the backyard and decided to go inside and play cards.  Normally we'd all hang out at my house but that day we went to Kathie and Karen's who lived directly behind me. 

We went into the living room and sprawled out on the floor for a little game of gin rummy.  As everyone began to get comfortable the shoes began to fly off.  I turned to remove my shoes and was shocked to see the light shade of gray they had taken on.  They were filthy and I didn't know what to do with them.  I tried hiding them but where the heck you gonna hide your feet on a hot Summer's day? So there I was the only bimbo with her shoes on.  Too embarrassed that they might be dirty AND smelly.

It got worse; in my early 20's I got a job working for an optometrist and was required to wear those white nurse looking shoes everyday.  After only three weeks on the job I'd ruined my shoes by leaving water marks on the leather.  My stinkin' feet (probably literal) sweat enough to ruin the leather!

I couldn't make sense of it.  If I was meant to have wet feet, why wasn't I born with webbed toes?  At least it would make sense and if need be I could paddle my way to work on raining days.

Was this some kind of strange phenomenon? Was I supposed to be in the newspaper with photographers running after me trying to capture the dirt as it clung to me?  If you must live with something so embarrassing, shouldn't there be a way to make money off of it?

Question upon question ran though my head about why this was happening but I found no answers.  Funny thing is, I really didn't sweat anywhere else.  I took a USO (United Services Organizations) tour to the Orient with a group of actors.  The Orient can be hot and humid and as most of our traveling was on a bus we often times arrived at the appointed location with everyone on the bus drenched in sweat....well, everyone except yours truley.  I'd be dry as can be...until you got past the ankles.  The girls called me prissy, but it wasn't my fault, I'd have done anything to be a sweaty pig if it meant my feet could remain dry. Think about it, I was always scared to death I'd accidently electrocute myself.

Just so you know I'm not kidding, read this: Anyone with Plantar Hyperhidrosis who goes through an exercise, dance, or martial arts program with bare feet will leave wet spots on the floor. This will be embarrassing, but, more importantly, can be hazardous for the participant and others engaging in the activity. Falls could occur, as a result of the wet spots.

I don't remember when or how but I finally grew out of this dreaded thing and have fairly dry feet.  And all this to say, I sure could use a foot massage. Any takers?


Courtney said...

Lucky you for growing out of it! I just found your blog doing some searching for hyperhidrosis. I'm 28 and it's still going strong, dirty feet and wet marks on the floor galore!

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog too. Almost 40 and I have both feet & hand hyperhidrosis. It sucks. I have a terrible time with my feet because they get various aches because of it. My toes are always in pain and feel like the skin has been ripped off. I think it is from the wet socks and the constant rubbing of the fibers. I am thinking about doing the botox treatment this next year.

hyperhidrosis said...

Another of the many cures for excessive sweating is to take a good look at your diet.
Sugar and caffeine trigger brain signals that lead to excessive sweating. As a little advice cut back on that morning cup of coffee or soda that you have. Also avoid those sweets like chocolate and candies. Really beneficial for everyone.