Around 365 million people suffer from hyperhidrosis globally. What is hyperhidrosis? It is a medical condition identified by an individual experiencing excessive sweating. The medical condition can affect anyone regardless of age, sex, or ethnicity. In 2016, the company was founded by three friends seeking to help those suffering from the taboo condition.
Co-founder Maxime Calouche suffered from hyperhidrosis, which made life difficult growing up and as a young entrepreneur. His firsthand knowledge helped the company take shape. Once the Montreal-based company was created, it didn’t take long for the co-founders to find success.
Hundreds of millions of people were seeking a way to stop their excessive sweating and the Dermadry Anti-sweat Device came to their rescue.
Now, five years into the life of the company, Dermadry is thriving. The start-up continues to rack up awards and has recently opened new offices. Despite the growth and success, the best accolades the company receives come from the people they help on a daily basis.
Mathieu, you are a co-founder of the incredible Dermadry Anti-sweat Device that helps individuals with hyperhidrosis. For those that are unaware, hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. What led you to co-found Dermadry Laboratories?
We often underestimate the pain that comes from excessive sweating. People who sweat too much are four times more prone to have severe anxiety or depression. This is a debilitating condition that sadly is not spoken enough about.
We started Dermadry because one of the co-founders had hyperhidrosis himself. The condition can take a significant toll on its sufferer, leading them to live and plan their life around the condition, even leading them to avoid social interaction and situations.
People rarely talk about the condition nor seek medical help, leaving many to suffer in silence.
We decided to invest ourselves in the mission to create an affordable, efficient, and practical solution to help people who suffered from this condition. That is why we created the world leading iontophoresis machine, a technology that effectively treats excessive sweating and gives long lasting results.
How big of an issue is excessive sweating for individuals around the globe?
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating. It is thought to affect about 5% of the global population, or approximately 365 million people worldwide. It can affect anyone regardless of factors such as age, sex, or ethnicity.
Hyperhidrosis is often referred to as the “silent handicap” because people who suffer this condition often feel socially and professionally paralyzed by their sweating.
People who sweat too much will not want or find it difficult to date or see friends.
They do not want to have jobs where they need to interact with people because they are so ashamed of who they are. Our iontophoresis treatment is a transformative solution because our clients finally feel that they can become the person they always wanted to be now they are dry.
In 2020, Dermadry achieved expansion into the United States. It was a major boost for the start up company. Even before moving into the US market, Dermadry Anti-sweat Device was the world’s best-selling iontophoresis machine. Now, Dermadry has opened up a whole new world and is able to help individuals in the US suffering from hyperhidrosis.
Last year, the Dermadry Anti-sweat Device, which is manufactured in Canada, received clearance from the FDA in the United States. How significant has clearance been to sell the Dermadry in the US in terms of growth for the company?
Dermadry was developed by a team of hyperhidrosis sufferers and it is a dream come true to see our machine become the best-selling iontophoresis machine worldwide. Dermadry is so proud to add its FDA clearance to its long list of certifications and compliances worldwide as the company has prioritized safety and efficiency since its early development stages.
For us, expanding in the US market was very important, it offered us a real chance to spread awareness and wellbeing across the globe. We’ve been able to build remarkable relationships with customers worldwide, providing a service for those who are affected by hyperhidrosis. Being FDA cleared will allow the company to continue to provide first-class service to our customers, recruit excellent new employees, and advance the technology that will fuel the next great chapter of Dermadry.
The company was founded in 2016 after a prototype was developed by Maxime. What were some of the difficulties of developing the device and creating a start-up? What challenges have you experienced over the last four years?
The road has been extremely long and arduous. Indeed, as young entrepreneurs, we believed we could do everything ourselves. To be honest, it is thanks to our naivety and optimism that we succeeded in this enormous task.
After encountering many obstacles, we realized that we had to learn to cooperate with local agents in order to move forward. That is why we decided to partner with exceptional partners such as the engineering firm Noovo and the regulatory consulting agency LoK North-America. Surrounding ourselves with exceptional local partners, having created a culture of collaboration focused on the development of internal knowledge and having worked tirelessly, Dermadry was finally able to become the first iontophoresis machine in Canada and now, the world leading iontophoresis machine.
According to reports, “less than a year after marketing started” Dermadry had sold seven-figures worth of units. When did you know you had something special that would change the lives of individuals suffering from hyperhidrosis?
Taking the time and speaking with the individuals who do suffer from hyperhidrosis really opened up my eyes.
All the initiatives we were and are planning is to illustrate the importance of wide-scale education of hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis can be isolating, but it does not have to be. I am honored and grateful to have the chance to help people with hyperhidrosis find additional support and resources, and encourage them to break their silence and share their stories. The goal is to break the taboo surrounding sweat so that this condition can be taken seriously and given the proper research and treatment development it deserves.
Dermadry grew quickly but in the co-founders’ belief, could have grown faster had they taken more risks. Unfortunately, According to Mireault, the group followed the advice of financial partners that were afraid of moving too quickly. It was advice that Mireault and company later regretted as taking risks enabled the co-founders to have success.
In a previous interview, you stated that the co-founders listened to advice rather than to go with instinct. Can you go into detail about the advice you received that you later regretted?
That quote brought us a lot of trouble. Basically, numerous financial partners have told us that we’re going too quickly and that we are taking too many risks.
In the end, it is the risks that brought us where we are today. In this case, we should have listened to our instinct and gone even quicker to obtain our objectives, even if it would have been riskier.
Knowing the difficulties of hyperhidrosis, the co-founders of Dermadry created a scholarship program for students suffering from the condition.
Now, students can benefit from the scholarship and experience school just like other individuals.
Mathieu, can you tell us about the scholarship offered by Dermadry Laboratories to students? What inspired the company to start a scholarship program?
We are very proud about this scholarship! We know that being a student with hyperhidrosis is extremely challenging.
Whether you are constantly sweating through your school uniform, trying to hide sweat marks, shying away from social activities, or ruining books, papers, and technology tools because of your sweaty hands, it’s hard to ignore the effects hyperhidrosis can have on student life.
It can also lead to an increase in stress levels, anxiety, isolation, and bullying. We want to break the stigma and get more people talking about hyperhidrosis so it can be normalized.
As you know, one of Dermadry’s co-founders has hyperhidrosis. He struggled with this medical condition all throughout his schooling. This is why we wanted to create a scholarship program. We want to kickstart that change and help other students who struggle with excessive sweating to better manage their symptoms.
As an entrepreneur that left one industry to go into another, what is your advice to others seeking to follow a new career path?
Follow your passion! We started this company with a penny and a dream to help as many people as possible. As long as you are passionate about what you do, your passion will help you excel in any industry you choose.
What are the plans for the future for Dermadry Laboratories? Will it be a period of further expansion or will you seek to develop the device even more for customers?
Dermadry’s vision for the next few years is to spread the word of iontophoresis treatment. Indeed, we sincerely believe that this treatment would benefit those who have hyperhidrosis. Whether it is the Sunday sportsman who finds his shoes smelly or the businessman who does not want to get sweaty hands before an important meeting, we believe everyone can benefit from having a Dermadry at home.
To do this, we believe in creating an atmosphere where people feel comfortable talking about their excessive sweating. Our goal will be to play down excessive sweating, which today is considered the “taboo topic” because no one dares to talk about it. In addition, thanks to our links with the academic research community – with the University of Montreal for example – and health professionals, we want to make iontophoresis the world treatment of excessive sweating.
Mathieu, what is a day in your life like?
Like many entrepreneurs, I would say my days are too busy! They often vary from day to day, so it’s hard to illustrate a typical day. In the morning, I like to plan what my day will look like and then, do my best to stick with the plan, knowing that really happens. All in all, the common thread that guides my day-to-day is the objective to help as many people as possible.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
To be honest, I am quite shy and introverted. I think this is very common for people that are empathic.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“Discipline equals freedom.” – Jocko Willink “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” – The Beatles
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
Give everyone the tools to empower themselves.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Like many of our problems, there is a real benefit from discussing excessive sweating. It will help us realize as a society that there are effective solutions to treat this condition. Never suffer in silence, opening up about your problems is the best way to start the journey to solve them.
Dermadry continues to go from strength to strength. Despite opening the doors in 2016, the company is thriving and business is booming with clients around the world finding relief from an often-ignored ailment. Last October, Dermadry was proudly awarded the Startup Award of the 2020 Gala ESTim edition. The prestigious award was given to Dermadry for its exceptional work. The company also expanded its offices with a new location in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montreal, Canada. The expansion once again shows the incredible growth that Dermadry has experienced. Dermadry’s founders have taken an ailment, hyperhidrosis, which is suffered by hundreds of millions of people around the world, and devised a way to help them. No longer is hyperhidrosis ignored, but it is being treated thanks to the company’s incredible Anti-sweating Device.
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