April 14th, 2011Site News
Session Two is in full swing, sign up to take part in this HH discussion. This could be so important to how the Medical world sees how HH effects us on a daily basics.
There is currently a discussion going on about how Hyperhidrosis affects our everyday lives. WE are shouting out for participants to help take part in this. The more they are aware of how it affects us the better in the long term treatment will be and Doctors understanding about this awful affliction and skin disease.
Everything is confidential, all is text typed, you will take part with others who suffer from HH. All the data is saved and used this will help us get one step closer to having awareness and people understanding how it is to live with this.
PLEASE HELP TOWARDS ANOTHER GOOD CAUSE. REMEMBER OUR LITTLE VOICES CAN MAKE ONE BIG ONE!
A Novel Measure of Quality of Life in Hyperhidrosis Patients
The Welsh School of Pharmacy is developing a new patient centred instrument (measure/index) for evaluating the quality of life of HH patients.
Our goal is to create a user friendly measure that could act as a two way communication tool useful to HH patients as well physicians, enhancing the physician-patient communication in HH. On one hand the tool will allow patients to understand their condition better. On the other hand, the new measure will enable physicians to more accurately understand how their HH patients really feel and how their condition is affecting their lives.
In order to develop a tool of the highest usefulness, HH patients will be involved throughout the development process of the new measure.
As a first step in the process, a group discussion on “how HH affects the everyday life (everyday activities) and the quality of life (i.e. social life, emotional life, satisfaction) of HH patients” has been planned. We are interested in learning how the various dimensions of the participants’ lives are affected by HH.
The discussions will be convened online (text based), via a secure platform. We intend to run three sessions, each taking a period of 7 to 10 days, with different participants. Each participant will take part in one session.
Your role as a participant
Once you confirm to be a participant you will receive a link, a username and a password to ensure your secure access to the platform. Only the moderator will know your real name, to ensure anonymity in the discussions.
Your role, as a participant, will be to take time everyday, during a session, to read the posts made by the moderator (Paul Kamudoni) and the responses of other participants and to give your responses.
Everyone with HH is invited to participate! Drop me an email on KamudoniP@cardiff.ac.uk.
Paul KamudoniTags: cardiff, difficulties, discussion, embarrassing, excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis, medical, paul kamudoni, quality of life, support, tell them how it is, university, wales
(Lead – Hyperhidrosis Quality of Life Research Team, CSER Welsh School of Pharmacy)
April 8th, 2011Site News
I’ve just come across this article and it made me think – it’s all very well but what if you suffer with Hyperhidrosis? From what I can make out, we’d be better off just rinsing off the sweat occasionally. I don’t think I could give up soap or showers to the extent I would only use it once or twice a week but I might rethink my use of soap for my night-time shower as I regularly shower up to three times a day.
Hygiene of the Skin: When Is Clean Too Clean?
Elaine LarsonColumbia University School of Nursing, New York, New York, USA
Skin hygiene, particularly of the hands, is a primary mechanism for reducing contact and fecal-oral transmission of infectious agents. Widespread use of antimicrobial products has prompted concern about emergence of resistance to antiseptics and damage to the skin barrier associated with frequent washing. This article reviews evidence for the relationship between skin hygiene and infection, the effects of washing on skin integrity, and recommendations for skin care practices.For over a century, skin hygiene, particularly of the hands, has been accepted as a primary mechanism to control the spread of infectious agents. Although the causal link between contaminated hands and infectious disease transmission is one of the best-documented phenomena in clinical science, several factors have recently prompted a reassessment of skin hygiene and its effective practice.
In industrialized countries, exposure to potential infectious risks has increased because of changing sociologic patterns (e.g., more frequent consumption of commercially prepared food and expanded child-care services). Environmental sanitation and public health services, despite room for improvement, are generally good. In addition, choices of hygienic skin care products have never been more numerous, and the public has increasing access to health- and product-related information. This paper reviews evidence for the relationship between skin hygiene and infection, the effects of washing on skin integrity, and recommendations for skin care practices for the public and health-care professionals.
Does Skin Cleansing Reduce Risk for Infection?
Personal Bathing and Washing
There is a clear temporal relationship between improvement in general levels of cleanliness in society and improved health. Greene used historical and cross-cultural evidence and causal inference to associate personal hygiene with better health. However, the role of personal cleanliness in the control of infectious diseases over the past century is difficult to measure, since other factors have changed at the same time (e.g., improved public services, waste disposal, water supply, commercial food handling, and nutrition).
Studies of personal and domestic hygiene and its relationship to diarrhea in developing countries demonstrate the effectiveness of proper waste disposal, general sanitary conditions, and handwashing. However, aside from hand cleansing, specific evidence is lacking to link bathing or general skin cleansing with preventing infections. Part of the difficulty in demonstrating a causal association between general bathing or skin care and gastrointestinal infection is that interventions to reduce diarrheal disease have been multifaceted, often including health education, improved waste disposal, decontaminating the water supply, and general improvement in household sanitation as well as personal hygiene. Risk for diarrheal disease has also been linked to the level of parental education. Multiple influences complicate definition of the impact of any single intervention.
In 11 studies reviewed by Keswick et al, use of antimicrobial soaps was associated with substantial reductions in rates of superficial cutaneous infections. Another 15 experimental studies demonstrated a reduction in bacteria on the skin with use of antimicrobial soaps, but none assessed rates of infection as an outcome.
Extensive studies of showering and bathing conducted since the 1960s demonstrated that these activities increase dispersal of skin bacteria into the air and ambient environment, probably through breaking up and spreading of microcolonies on the skin surface and resultant contamination of surrounding squamous cells. These studies prompted a change in practice among surgical personnel, who are now generally discouraged from showering immediately before entering the operating room. Other investigators have shown that the skin microflora varies between persons but is remarkably consistent for each person over time. Even without bathing for many days, the flora remain qualitatively and quantitatively stable.
For surgical or other high-risk patients, showering with antiseptic agents has been tested for its effect on postoperative wound infection rates.
Such agents, unlike plain soaps, reduce microbial counts on the skin. In some studies, antiseptic preoperative showers or baths have been associated with reduced postoperative infection rates, but in others, no differences were observed. Whole-body washing with chlorhexidine-containing detergent has been shown to reduce infections among neonates, but concerns about absorption and safety preclude this as a routine practice. Several studies have demonstrated substantial reductions in rates of acquisition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in surgical patients bathed with a triclosan-containing product. Hence, preoperative showering or bathing with an antiseptic may be justifiable in selected patient populations.
Hand Hygiene for the General Public
Much contemporary evidence for a causal link between handwashing and risk for infection in community settings comes from industrialized countries. Although many of these studies may be limited by confounding by other variables, evidence of an important role for handwashing in preventing infections is among the strongest available for any factor studied. Reviews of studies linking handwashing and reduced risk for infection have been recently published. The most convincing evidence of the benefits of handwashing for the general public is for prevention of infectious agents found transiently on hands or spread by the fecal-oral route or from the respiratory tract. Plain soaps are considered adequate for this purpose.
Several highly publicized, serious outbreaks from commercially prepared foods have raised questions about food safety and the hygienic practices of food handlers and others in the service professions. Despite public awareness, however, handwashing generally does not meet recommended standards–members of the public wash too infrequently and for short periods of time.
These factors have led to suggestions that antimicrobial products should be more universally used, and a myriad of antimicrobial soaps and skin care products have become commercially available. While antimicrobial drug-containing products are superior to plain soaps for reducing both transient pathogens and colonizing flora, widespread use of these agents has raised concerns about the emergence of bacterial strains resistant to antiseptic ingredients such as triclosan. Such resistance has been noted in England and Japan, and molecular mechanisms for the development of resistance have been proposed. Although in some settings exposure to antiseptics has occurred for years without the appearance of resistance, a recent study described mutants of Escherichia coli selected for resistance to one disinfectant that were also multiply-antibiotic resistant. Some evidence indicates that long-term use of topical antimicrobial agents may alter skin flora. The question remains whether antimicrobial soaps provide sufficient benefit in reducing transmission of infection without added risk or cost.
Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings
Issues regarding hand hygiene practices among health-care professionals have been widely discussed and may be even more complicated than those in the general public. Unless patient care involves invasive procedures or extensive contact with blood and body fluids, current guidelines recommend plain soap for handwashing; however, infection rates in adult or neonatal intensive care units or surgery may be further reduced when antiseptic products are used.
Skin Barrier Properties and Effect of Hand Hygiene Practices
The average adult has a skin area of about 1.75 m2. The superficial part of the skin, the epidermis, has five layers. The stratum corneum, the outermost layer, is composed of flattened dead cells (corneocytes or squames) attached to each other to form a tough, horny layer of keratin mixed with several lipids, which help maintain the hydration, pliability, and barrier effectiveness of the skin. This horny layer has been compared to a wall of bricks (corneocytes) and mortar (lipids) and serves as the primary protective barrier. Approximately 15 layers make up the stratum corneum, which is completely replaced every 2 weeks; a new layer is formed approximately daily. From healthy skin, approximately 107 particles are disseminated into the air each day, and 10% of these skin squames contain viable bacteria. The dispersal of organisms is greater in males than in females and varies between persons using the same hygienic regimen by as much as fivefold.
Water content, humidity, pH, intracellular lipids, and rates of shedding help retain the protective barrier properties of the skin. When the barrier is compromised (e.g., by hand hygiene practices such as scrubbing), skin dryness, irritation, cracking, and other problems may result. Although the palmar surface of the hand has twice as many cell layers and the cells are >30 times thicker than on the rest of the skin, palms are quite permeable to water.
Long-term changes in skin pH associated with handwashing may pose a concern since some of the antibacterial characteristics of skin are associated with its normally acidic pH. In one report, pH increased 0.6 to 1.8 units after handwashing with plain soap for 1 to 2 min and then gradually declined to baseline levels over a period of 45 min to 2 hr. Some soaps can be associated with long-standing changes in skin pH, reduction in fatty acids, and subsequent changes in resident flora such as propionibacter.
In an investigation of the effect on skin of repeated use of two washing agents, all skin function tests (stratum corneum capacitative resistance, lipids, transepidermal water loss, pH, laser Doppler flow, and skin reddening) were markedly changed after a single wash, and after 1 week further damage was noted. In a study of irritant skin reactions induced by three surfactants, damage lasted for several days; complete skin repair was not achieved for 17 days.
Soaps and detergents have been described as the most damaging of all substances routinely applied to skin. Anionic and cationic detergents are more harmful than nonionic detergents, and increased concentrations of surfactant result in more rapid, severe damage. Each time the skin is washed, it undergoes profound changes, most of them transient. However, among persons in occupations such as health care in which frequent handwashing is required, long-term changes in the skin can result in chronic damage, irritant contact dermatitis and eczema, and concomitant changes in flora.
Irritant contact dermatitis, which is associated with frequent handwashing, is an occupational risks for health-care professionals, with a prevalence of 10% to 45%. The prevalence of damaged skin on the hands of 410 nurses was reported to be 25.9% in one survey, with 85.6% of nurses reported to have problems at some time. Skin damage was correlated with frequency of glove use and handwashing. Washing with plain soap may actually increase the potential for microbial transmission because of a 17-fold increase in the dispersal of bacterial colonies from the skin of the hands. Skin condition clearly plays a major role in risk for transmission.
Microbiology of Hands of Health-Care Professionals
Damaged skin more often harbors increased numbers of pathogens. Moreover, washing damaged skin is less effective at reducing numbers of bacteria than washing normal skin, and numbers of organisms shed from damaged skin are often higher than from healthy skin. The microbial flora on the clean hands of nurses (samples taken immediately after handwashing) have been reported in several recent studies. Methicillin resistance among coagulase-negative staphylococcal flora on hands did not seem to increase during the 1980s to the 1990s, and tetracycline resistance decreased.
Even with use of antiseptic preparations, which substantially reduce counts of hand flora, no reductions beyond an equilibrium level are attained. The numbers of organisms spread from the hands of nurses who washed frequently with an antimicrobial soap actually increased after a period of time; this increase is associated with declining skin health. In a recent survey, nurses with damaged hands were twice as likely to be colonized with S. hominis, S. aureus, gram-negative bacteria, enterococci, and Candida spp. and had a greater number of species colonizing the hands.
The trend in both the general public and among health-care professionals toward more frequent washing with detergents, soaps, and antimicrobial ingredients needs careful reassessment in light of the damage done to skin and resultant increased risk for harboring and transmitting infectious agents. More washing and scrubbing are unlikely to be better and may, in fact, be worse. The goal should be to identify skin hygiene practices that provide adequate protection from transmission of infecting agents while minimizing the risk for changing the ecology and health of the skin and increasing resistance in the skin flora.
Recommendations for the General Public
Bathing or showering cleans the skin by mechanical removal of bacteria shed on corneocytes. Bacterial counts are at least as high or higher after bathing or showering with a regular soap than before. Frequent bathing has aesthetic and stress-relieving benefits but serves little microbiologic purpose. Mild, nonantimicrobial soap should suffice for routine bathing. Bathing with an antimicrobial product reduces rates of cutaneous infection and could be beneficial when skin infections are likely or before certain surgical procedures. With those exceptions, available data do not support a recommendation for bathing with antimicrobial products.
No single recommendation for hand hygiene practices in the general population would be adequate. The potential advantage of sustained antimicrobial activity for certain occupations (e.g., food handlers and child-care providers) must be balanced with the theoretical possibility of emergence of resistant strains and perhaps other, as yet unrecognized, safety issues.
An alternative to detergent-based antiseptic products is the use of alcohol hand rinses, which have recently become widely available over the counter. Their advantages include rapid and broad-spectrum activity, excellent microbicidal characteristics, and lack of potential for emergence of resistance. Alcohol-based products could be recommended for use among persons who need immediate protection after touching contaminated surfaces or before and after contact with someone at high risk for infection.
Since hands are a primary mode of fecal-oral and respiratory transmission, specific indications for use of antiseptic hand products by the general public are close physical contact with persons at high risk for infection (e.g., neonates, the very old, or immunosuppressed); close physical contact with infected persons; infection with an organism likely to be transmitted by direct contact (diarrhea, upper respiratory infection, skin infections); or work in a setting in which infectious disease transmission is likely (food preparation, crowded living quarters such as chronic-care residences, prisons, child-care centers, and preschools).
Recommendations for the Health-Care Professional
Detergent-Based Antiseptics or Alcohol
Because of increasingly vulnerable patient populations, the demand for hand hygiene among health-care professionals has never been greater. However, frequent handwashing is not only potentially damaging to skin, it is also time-consuming and expensive. Finnish investigators demonstrated that after frequent washing the hands of patient-care providers became damaged and posed greater risk to themselves and patients than if they had washed less often. A mild emulsion cleansing rather than handwashing with liquid soap was associated with a substantial improvement in the skin of nurses’ hands. Alcohol-based formulations are superior to antiseptic detergents for rapid microbial killing on skin and, with the addition of appropriate moisturizers, are probably milder. Since alcohols are rapid acting, are broad spectrum, and require no washing or drying, damage caused by detergents and mechanical friction from toweling is avoided.
Use of Lotions and Moisturizers
Moisturizing is beneficial for skin health and reducing microbial dispersion from skin, regardless of whether the product used contains an antibacterial ingredient. Because of differences in the content and formulations of lotions and creams, products vary greatly in their effectiveness. Lotions used with products containing chlorhexidine gluconate must be carefully selected to avoid neutralization by anionic surfactants. The role of emollients and moisturizers in improving skin health and reducing microbial spread is an area for additional research.
To improve the skin condition of health-care professionals and reduce their chances of harboring and shedding microorganisms from the skin, the following measures are recommended: 1) For damaged skin, mild, nonantimicrobial skin cleansing products may be used to remove dirt and debris. If antimicrobial action is needed (e.g., before invasive procedures or handling of highly susceptible patients) a waterless, alcohol-based product may be used. 2) In clinical areas such as the operating room and neonatal and transplant units, shorter, less traumatic washing regimens may be used instead of lengthy scrub protocols with brushes or other harsh mechanical action. 3) Effective skin emollients or barrier creams may be used in skin-care regimens and procedures for staff (and possibly patients as well). 4) Skin moisturizing products should be carefully assessed for compatibility with any topical antimicrobial products being used and for physiologic effects on the skin.
From the public health perspective, more frequent use of current hygiene practices may not necessarily be better (i.e., perhaps sometimes clean is “too clean”), and the same recommendations cannot be applied to all users or situations. Future investigation is likely to improve understanding of the interaction between skin physiology, microbiology, and ecology and the role of the skin in the transmission of infectious diseases.
Dr. Larson is professor of pharmaceutical and therapeutic research, The School of Nursing, and professor of epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. She is editor of the American Journal of Infection Control and former chair of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) and member of CDC’s National Center for Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors.
Address for correspondence: Elaine Larson, Columbia University School of Nursing, 630 W. 168th St., New York, NY 10032, USA; fax: 212-305-0722; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no2/larson.htmTags: clean, excessive sweating, hands, how clean, hygiene, hyperhidrosis, infections, infectious, keeping clean, medical, research, scientific, shower, skin, skin care, sweat
April 6th, 2011Site News
This could be excellent news for people within the catchment area, I do hope Nicola Roxon comes through for you guys!
Tags: asia, australasia, australia, botox, dermatologist, disease, doctors, endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, ets, excessive sweating, help, hope, hyperhidrosis, medical, possible, products, subsidised, subsidy, surgery, treatment
BOTOX could be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to help people with excessively sweaty underarms and palms.
Health Minister Nicola Roxon confirmed she was considering subsidising Botox, a move dermatologists fear could result in rogue doctors exploiting the system to treat patients for cosmetic purposes.
The most common use for Botox, or botulinum toxin type A, is to minimise wrinkles and lines by paralysing muscles in the face.
The drug is already listed on the PBS for the treatment of severe spasms and spasticity in elderly patients or for certain medical conditions.
Ms Roxon said her Government had deferred a decision to list Botox, alongside five other medications.
A spokesman for Ms Roxon said the listing was deferred due to “difficult fiscal circumstances” but would be reconsidered when the financial situation allowed.
David Francis from the Australasian College of Dermatologists agreed the PBS listing should be extended to cover patients with excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis.
“This is a debilitating condition, you-can’t-go-out-of-the-house type suffering,” Dr Francis said.
He said patients struggled with the cost of Botox at $500 or more an ampoule, requiring one ampoule per treatment every six to 12 months.
The only other option for patients is to have an operation to sever a nerve in the neck that causes the sweating, although this carries the risks of any surgical procedure.
Dr Francis admitted there was room for exploitation. “There may be the unscrupulous people who may say they’re treating underarms and using the rest on wrinkles,” he said. “It would be simple to catch doctors who took advantage of the subsidy. Most dermatologists would see no more than one or two patients a year with the condition.”
The Government last week listed seven new medicines and vaccines that would be available on the PBS from April 1 and announced the deferral of listings for the first time.
Ms Roxon said that while there were alternatives for the other five medications deferred, there was no alternative treatment for hyperhidrosis.
The chair of the Australian Medical Association’s Therapeutics Committee, John Gullotta, said the Government should say when it would make a decision about Botox.
VERY SWEATY BETTY Now Has A Councellor On Board Who Sufferers With HH And Can Help You Living With This Disease0April 4th, 2011Site NewsHello everyone.My name is Scruffpot a.k.a Mark.I’m 31 living in the UK and suffer with Hyperhidrosis.I’m currently training to be a counsellor and have been kindly offered a spot here on the forum to help anybody who needs a friendly ear to bend.So…a little introduction about me so you know who you are talking too.
I have had HH since being about 13 years old. Auxiliary HH.
Throughout my life I have managed to hide it up rather successfully; at School, College and University, by never taking my jumper off, wearing dark t shirts and hoodie cardies. However I was and still am conscience about my HH. I mainly hid at school and floated around social groups never belonging to a certain clique – which worked rather well for me. But I missed out a lot of things, going on trips, doing certain events etc. As I was paranoid encase anyone found out. I was EMBARRASSED.
My HH effected me mentally and physically.When I was about 20 years old I went to the doctors and got told about Driclor which worked for a while. I did try a variety of different types of topical lotions; some worked some burnt my skin, but persevered.
I couldn’t get a job wearing a suit and shirt as I didn’t want to sit in an office and be embarrassed looking all sweaty, so i became a roadie…so much fun…Anyway after a serious study of my life I decided to move city and try something new. I visited my new doctors after a lot of mental deliberation (as I am and was embarrassed to talk about it)to see if I could sort out my HH.
I got sent to the hospital and was offered 2 types of operations. ETS (which we all know about) and PRFS (Pulse Radio Frequency Sympathectomy). Each operation has their positive and negative sides and nothing was guaranteed also there was risk of Compensatory Sweating. I went for PRFS as I had got so fed up with my HH. Also in going for PRFS I was putting myself up as a guinea pig, as it was experimental for HH.
In the operations be it PRFS or ETS they try to clamp or cauterize the T2 T3 T3 ganglion nerve endings which run off the spine, depending if it’s auxiliary or palmar etc.http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S18 … xt&tlng=en (an interesting document).However instead of cutting open a small hole in your arm pit and deflating a lung to get to the nerve endings as they do with ETS. In PRFS they keep you slightly awake but on a strong aesthetic and insert a needle directly in to you back, and send radio frequencies down the needle and cauterize the nerve endings.
My xray of the procedure, as you can see the needle.
http://i31.tinypic.com/242ybeo.jpgAll I can say is… Yes it did hurt. To cauterize the nerve endings they have to turn up the voltage even though you are under a general aesthetic you can feel it. When it becomes unbearable they lower the voltage and start over again. I had this done in 6 places.Tags: antiperspirant, counsellor, counselor, disease, driclor, embarrassing, excessive sweating, help, hyperhidrosis, products, skin, stress, support, taboo, talk, topical, treatment
Was it worth it?
YES, even though it was dangerous and I was a guinea pig for this surgery
My HH is a lot lot better. However I was told it may not be permanent as the ganglion nerves can grow back and I may need it again at some point.
Have I got CS – yes but I have a bit more confidence.
Anyway, I still have HH but not as bad.
Would I advise surgery, No I wouldn’t, as I cannot make that choice for you and I wouldn’t. But that’s my story.
A few years ago my HH caused me to have a mental blip, so I have been through the mill, but out the other side, so I can relate to anyone having problems
I’m also trailing oxybutynin hydrochloride/Ditropan to see if that makes a difference and so far so good, but then i do have thyroid problems and that also effects my HH..
Anyway to the present…
I’m currently training to be a counsellor and being I have HH I would like to enable anybody young or old who are finding it all a struggle as I have been there and am there, as I know from experience HH does affect you mentally and physically. So if you have anything you want to chat about, ask questions and want to know about dealing with HH, then you are more than welcome. You can PM me if you want and it will be STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL or leave me a message on the forum and I will reply and try my utmost to help you.