Healthy Kids - Fall 2023


Surgery helps teen basketball star find comfort on and off the court

Cole Villaflor was in elementary school when he first realized something was off with his body. His hands were so sweaty that it made writing essays difficult. He had a hard time using touchscreens. And basketball, his favorite sport? He may have been able to keep his eye on the ball, but his hands were an entirely different story. “I’ve had really sweaty hands and feet for as long as I can remember—starting at least around second grade,” says Cole, now 16 and a high school junior. “I really started to notice it around fourth or fifth grade. Everyone knew it in my class because it was hard for me to shake hands and give high fives.” Cole’s pediatrician diagnosed him with hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes excessive sweating not always related to heat or exercise. Sweating, the body’s natural cooling mechanism, occurs when the nervous system triggers the sweat glands in response to heat or nervousness. When this mechanism is faulty, it can trigger the sweat glands even when the body’s temperature has not risen, or a person is not anxious. Often an inherited condition, hyperhidrosis is most commonly treated with a variety of non-surgical methods. Cole tried all of them. The first step: an


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