Penny Lancaster has talked candidly about living with hyperhidrosis, a chronic sweat condition. Appearing on ITV’s popular daytime television show, Loose Women, the 45-year-old model spoke of how she feels embarrassed about her tendency to sweat heavily.
In a recent episode of Loose Women, Penny said fears of her excessive sweating are so severe that she worried what her husband Rod Stewart would think when he found out about the condition.
The model explained how her hands become clammy when she is nervous or excited, stating:
“I have hyperhidrosis, you can see a little shining hand going on. A lot of the time they’re bone dry and fine but it’s something to do with the nervous system – I’m not nervous – but even when I’m excited and looking forward to something.”
It was in her teenage years when Penny was first diagnosed with hyperhidrosis. At the time, Penny said the condition was so extreme, she had to wear white cotton gloves when she took her exams in order to prevent the page she was writing on becoming damp. Over the years, the model says she has learned to live with excessive sweating.
Ms Lancaster spoke of how doctors have advised her to undergo intrusive treatment to help alleviate the condition. Specialists had suggested electrotherapy to help diminish the condition, or alternatively having an operation in which a vein under the arm is cut. Though this form of treatment could lead to sweating elsewhere.
Penny said such is her embarrassment over her excessively sweating hands that she tries to avoid shaking hands with people when she meets them and instead opts to kiss them.
Ms Lancaster continued that she would go out of her way to try and mask her condition.
“In my early modelling days, if I was doing swimwear or a bit more scantily clad, I’d ask the photographer for a wind machine and they’d say aren’t you too cold? And I’d say, ‘No, I’m hot, but it’s just the wind would dry them out.”
Hyperhydrosis is a common problem, estimated to affect 7.8 million individuals in the United States, 2.8% of the population.
Individuals suffering from the condition experience excessive sweating, typically on the palms of the hands, under the arms, on the face and on the soles of the feet. The embarrassment of the condition can lead to stress and anxiety.
One treatment for hyperhidrosis involves botulinum toxin being injected into the skin of affected areas. The botulinum toxin reduces the sweating by blocking the signals from the brain to the sweat glands.