Surviving Sweaty Hands

What you can do to get on with life – even if your hands are a bit damp.

Your hair or makeup is in place, you smell fantastic, and your teeth are gleaming white. But you feel uncomfortable. You want to make a great first impression, but the pouring out of your palms makes it unlikely.

What is causing your clammy hands, and what can you do to control it on a daily basis? Read on to find out!

Behind the Sweat Scene

It’s normal to sweat a little bit – especially if you’re stuck in hot weather or are performing physical labor. If you find your hands are sweaty even when you’re working in the air conditioning at your office, it may be caused by excessive sweating, a condition also known as hyperhidrosis. Capable of causing excessive sweating in the hands, feet, face, and armpits, excessive sweating is not just embarrassing. It may be a sign of something more dangerous.

While many cases of hyperhidrosis are brought on by certain emotions (fear, anger, etc.), others are linked to conditions ranging from infection to spinal cord injury. Therefore, if home treatment does not remedy the sweaty problem, you should consider seeking medical attention to ensure your sweating is not a complication of another disease. If it is, getting the underlying condition taken care of should also resolve your wet-hand dilemma.

Stifle Your Sweat

Ready to put hand sweat in its place? You can kick the puddles off your palms by taking a few steps at home. First, regularly wash your hands to prevent potentially harmful bacteria from piling up. Additionally, grab a bar of antiperspirant from your local store and apply it to your palms at night. You will probably want to try something scentless to make the experience more tolerable for you and less likely to result in skin irritation. As you begin to gain control over your sweaty palms, cut back on the frequency of applying the antiperspirant. It can also be helpful to take up yoga or other relaxing exercises that help you get control over the stresses of life that may bring on palm sweating.

Tried all these and still find yourself stuck with sweaty palms? Your next option will have to be discussed in a doctor’s office. The first treatment your doctor will likely recommend is a stronger antiperspirant. By going with a prescription antiperspirant on your hands, you may find the relief you seek. Otherwise, you may require more invasive treatments. These treatments often require a multidisciplinary team consisting of neurologists, neurosurgeons, dermatologists, and other specialists.

Depending on your specific case, you may be prescribed oral medication to help your body cut back on its sweating ways. Or you may be prescribed a device that sends an electric shock through your hands in order to change the outer surface of your skin and ultimately block sweat from passing through.

Additionally, you may be prescribed BOTOX to paralyze your sweat-inducing nerves and keep them from pumping sweat into your hands. The final option involves surgical removal of the nerves that are the cause of palm sweating. Thanks to medical advances, this procedure can now be done on an outpatient basis in a minimally invasive manner.

Why Sweat?

Whether on your palms, feet, pits, or face, sweating shouldn’t be viewed only as a nuisance. In most cases, it serves a very important purpose. When you exercise or are in a hot environment, your body has to find a way to keep from overheating. Instead of giving you an unexplainable desire to go swimming, your body forces you to sweat. That way, your body is kept cool and you don’t wind up passed out from getting too hot.

If you’re very hot and aren’t sweating, you better drink some more water. You may be suffering from dehydration.


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