I have had sweaty hands my whole life. I’m not talking about just when I get nervous, I’m talking about all the time. They rarely ever stop. In fact, it occurs so frequently that I don’t know what it feels like to have dry hands. You may be thinking, Oh, what a burden to bear. So what if your hands sweat, big deal. Well, it is a big deal. Let’s start with everyday things. Clothes, for example - I can’t wear anything that isn’t 100% cotton. If I do, my hands sweat even more, making it excruciatingly uncomfortable. This rules out a lot of clothing.
Then there’s writing. What does writing have to do with sweaty hands? Smudges. Imagine taking a test and when you turn it in, the writing is all smudged because of your sweaty hands. Imagine being in art class and turning in a drawing that looks like a Picasso because of all the wet spots. Can you imagine how embarrassing it is to hold hands with somebody and then have them pull back with a look of disgust?
I get teased about my hands, which doesn’t help, either. Now you may be thinking, Why don’t you just dry your hands? Well, let me put it this way: if you are running at top speed on the treadmill for 15 minutes and you’re sweating a lot, if someone wipes the sweat off your forehead, does your forehead stay dry? No. It will soon be covered with more sweat because you are still running.
My hands’ wetness isn’t some weird deformity, it’s a genetic disease called Palmar Hyperhidrosis. This disease starts early in childhood and gets worse during late teens and into early adulthood. I haven’t even suffered the worst of my disease yet! There are expensive operations, but these have strange and risky side effects that I would rather not experience. There are also miracle pills and creams that have no effect on my hands whatsoever. For now I have to live with my hands and the discomfort. But I live normally and happily. I just wish more people knew about this so they were aware.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.