This woman's condition means she sweats so much that her drenched clothes freeze in winter

This woman's condition means she sweats so much that her drenched clothes freeze in winter

Sophie Dwyer was born with a rare health condition: she suffers from hyperhidrosis, which means that she sweats 10 times as much as the average person.

Her disorder, which affects one in 200 people, is so extreme that Sophie can drench her skin and clothes after just a few hours, and has to drink an average of 5.7 litres of water each day to replace her lost moisture.

Sophie mostly sweats from her hands, armpits and feet, and perspires so much that she sometimes loses her grip when holding things because the palms of her hands are so slick.

She was first diagnosed with hyperhidrosis at the age of eight, when playmates refused to hold her hands. Sophie would be forced to constantly dry her hands on her school clothes and would leave puddles on her work.

Her parents took her to see a doctor, who proposed various treatments. One was iontophoresis, where the hands are placed in water that is connected to an electrical current. When this didn't work, Sophie considered Botox injections, but the high cost of $1,500 (£1,150) for a session every six months put her off.

An image of Sophie Dwyer. Credit: Press Association

Commenting on her condition in a recent interview, Sophie stated: "If I’m out with friends, I make frequent trips to the bathroom to dry my armpits using a hand-dryer. I sweat so much that I’m pretty much always uncomfortable, but winter is by far the worst time.

"It’s really horrible at the moment because I’m sweating just as much but the sweat runs cold. I have to dress up warmly, but I know that the sweat will start to soak through the layers, which then starts to freeze making me even colder. There’s no way I can win and it can make me really depressed sometimes.

"I call myself the ‘Sweat Bender’, after Uri Geller the ‘Spoon Bender’ because I have this ability to make my hands sweat really fast just by thinking about sweating. It’s like a kind of superpower, although possibly the worst superpower in the world. My friends enjoy watching it though ...  I have broken my computer and my phone because of water damage, and I also really struggle to drive because the wheel slips around in my hands."

Sophie, who has other medical problems because of her hyperhidrosis, including eczema on her feet, added: "I had also considered a career in medicine, but I know that’s something that probably isn’t an option for me  – because who wants to be examined by someone with clammy hands, let alone hands dripping with sweat?

"When you have a disorder like mine that you can’t control or stop, you can either let it make you miserable or start to own it. So I started to own it, openly telling people about hyperhidrosis and how it affects me. I think people respected that."

Sophie going through iontophoresis treatment. Credit: Press Association

However, despite the problems her condition has caused her, Sophie is determined not to let it define her, or to become depressed over it.

"I feel like I have to embrace this, not to shy away from it and pretend like everything is fine," she says. "I’m going to spend my life living with this – so I have to face up to it."