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ONDBEAT: Trying not to sweat the midsummer heat

There I was, merrily shooting photos as I always do, this one in the heat of late June 2018 at a Sunset Beach summer concert.

“Are you OK?!” several befuddled people asked in so many words and expressions as a warm-weather waterfall started to cascade down my forehead and spill over my flushed face as I darted here and there trying to do my job with stealthy precision.

Uh, duh, I responded. It’s summer. It’s hot. I sweat. Doesn’t everyone? Their drier demeanors offered a clue: No duh.

Later, in the privacy of my car’s rearview mirror, scrutinizing and comparing my melting mug and mascara streaks to the more arid event-goers I’d just gotten through photographing, I started to realize I might have a hot problem.

As soon as I got to the nearest keyboard and Wi-Fi I consulted my online bible — i.e., almighty Google who can handle every question and at least try to offer answers.

Could it be an involuntary aversion? Maybe I’m allergic to humidity — it does make me perspire.

I typed in a description along the lines of “sweatin’ like swine, but just on my head.” (Another Google fun fact: Pigs don’t have good sweat glands, which is why they wallow in the mud or go for a dip in the Bahamas.)

My latest hypochondriac research eventually linked to a revelatory self-diagnosis — craniofacial hyperhidrosis — “excessive sweating of the face and forehead.”

Yes, that was precisely it. But what to do about it? I couldn’t go to too many more of these beach-weather assignments in such an embarrassing state.

According to one website, only 3 percent of the population has this condition and its cause is “unknown.” Have these pundits checked the temperature lately?

My malaise worry now in full gear, the writer went on to state it can “severely affect the quality of life.” Yes, I was totally humidity-humiliated.

Women can’t keep their makeup on and may become self-conscious about their appearance, it said. How could we put on our best face for critical social interactions?

I started researching products designed to fend the flop-sweat away. One suggestion was to put antiperspirant on your forehead.

So one muggy July morning two weeks ago I remembered to mix a little Mitchum into my makeup before embarking on yet another hot assignment in the great outdoors.

For the first few minutes, I think it may have worked. But the longer I stood in the swelter the more the waterfall beads started to form and fall, soon erupting south once again.

This time, in sympathy with the rest of my face, my eyes started to water and redden, too. It took me awhile to catch on what was wrong. It also took the rest of the day to cry that antiperspirant out of my peepers.

This week, I’ve discovered a better, safer remedy for craniofacial hyperhidrosis, and it won’t make me weep or go blind.

It’s called air-conditioning.

Laura Lewis is assistant editor for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.