Have you ever felt embarrassed to shake someone’s hand because your palms were abnormally sweaty? Or did you give someone a cold shock by touching them with your damp hands?
Sweaty palms aren’t a symptom of worry for some folks; they’re just a part of life. This can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life, forcing them to avoid social situations and particular activities.
Palmar Hyperhidrosis is a medical term for Sweaty Palms. People with Palmar Hyperhidrosis (or) Sweaty palms experience uncontrollable and excessive hand sweating because of their overactive sweat glands even when the temperature is cool or when they rest. Sweaty palms is a type of primary Hyperhidrosis for which there is no proven medical cause but can be hereditary.
Excess sweat may affect the entire body, but is often seen in the palms, soles, armpits and groin area, which is known as Hyperhidrosis. The excessive sweating can be intermittent or continuous.
Sweating is your body’s mechanism to cool itself. Excessive sweat is normal if a person has anxiety or fever. However, if it is chronic, Hyperhidrosis may occur or it can signal thyroid problems, low blood sugar, disturbances of the nervous system or other medical issues.
Problems involved in Sweaty palms:
Palmar Hyperhidrosis is a very stressful and embarrassing problem that reduces confidence. Sweaty palms can adversely affect your social life, education, and career, from ruined paperwork to slippery handshakes. It’s proven that sweaty palms have the most significant negative impact on patients’ lives of any dermatologic condition.
What Are The Types Of Sweaty Palms?
- Primary Hyperhidrosis:
Hyperhidrosis of the hands, feet, and armpits is called primary Hyperhidrosis. There is no medical cause for this type of Hyperhidrosis. It can be inherited, because sometimes it works in families.
- Secondary Hyperhidrosis:
If the sweating occurs as a result of any medical condition, it is called secondary Hyperhidrosis. The sweating may be all over the body, or it may be in one area.
What Are The Causes Of Sweaty Palms?
Palmar Hyperhidrosis or sweaty palms affects over 3% of the population, significantly impacting their quality of life and even causing psychological distress. It can be caused due to genetics or certain trigger points like anxiety, heat, certain food and drinks, or emotional stress. It can also be caused due to hormonal imbalance.
The issues becomes noticeable in childhood and improves as the person ages, and usually stops around the age of 60.
Conditions that cause Secondary Hyperhidrosis include:
- Low blood sugar
- Overactive thyroid
- Heart attack
- Nervous system problems
- Carcinoid syndrome
- Lung disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injury
You need to see a doctor if your sweaty palms are accompanied by other symptoms or if you find the excessive sweating interfering with your daily life.
Untreated Palmar Hyperhidrosis (or) Sweaty palms lead to complications, rarely medically serious, such as:
- Psychological distress
- Emotional complications
- Bacterial Infections
For excessively sweaty palms, a doctor may suggest one or a combination of the following medical treatments:
- Botox injections &
Surgery may be recommended to remove or injure sweat glands in the area, making it difficult to sweat. Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) is a potential surgical treatment for sweaty palms.
If you feel that your sweaty palms do not require a trip to the doctor it can be put under control by following a few remedies with things that are easily available. However, if you find that it is causing an allergic reaction or irritation, refrain from continuing these methods. You must also report these methods if you Consult a Doctor at a later point in time.
Following tidbits make you feel better from sweaty palms:
- Regular bathing helps keep the number of bacteria on your skin in check.
- Antiperspirants work best when you apply them at night because it gives your hands more time to absorb them. Make Sure that you do not cover your hands after applying the Antiperspirants to avoid any irritations.
- Do not mistake an antiperspirant for a general deodorant. A deodorant masks the body odor, whereas the antiperspirant stops your body from sweating. You can find an antiperspirant in stores near you or even online.
- You can start by using a regular strength antiperspirant and progress to a clinical strength antiperspirant if you are not satisfied with the results. A clinical strength antiperspirant can be easily found over the counter.
- If you are not happy with that as well, you may check with a doctor for a stronger antiperspirant.
- Baking soda
- Mix a couple teaspoons of baking soda with water to create a paste. Rub your hands with the paste for about five minutes and wash your hands.
- Most people are aware of how effective baking soda can be in whitening teeth. Well, it can also be used as an inexpensive antiperspirant to reduce or stop excessive sweating. Simply mix a little water to the baking soda to make it into a paste and apply it to your palms. Let it dry for 5 minutes and wash it off.
- As baking soda is alkaline in nature, it helps in reducing sweating or quickly evaporating it off your palms.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Wipe your palms with apple cider vinegar. Leave it on overnight for best effect. You may also include 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in your diet.
- Applying ACV or Apple Cider Vinegar to your palms balances the pH level of the skin, effectively keeping it dry. You may rub your hands with ACV and leave it overnight for the best results. You may also include 2 spoons of it in your daily diet for better results and overall health.
Other small activities or remedies that can positively impact your sweaty palms are:
- Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water to cool down your core temperature.
- Following a healthy and balanced diet
- Rub palms with rose water-dipped cotton to close the sweat pores or reduce the sweating.
- Destress by exercising to reduce your overall body temperature.
Apply a small amount of coconut oil onto your palms after a shower. It is a natural antiperspirant.
Track your triggers
It is important that you keep a track of what is triggering sweaty palms and report the same to your doctor. A trigger can be a situation, food, drink, or any habit.
This treatment involves placing your hand in a solution and subject it to low electric shocks.
It is believed that this treatment thickens the outer layer of your skin, which effectively helps in reducing sweating. It has shown to significantly reduce sweating, however, would require at least 4 sessions (30-40 minutes session) to see a significant result.
- Prescription drugs
Your doctor may prescribe anticholinergic drugs to treat sweaty palms. These drugs block the receptors which signal the sweat glands to sweat.
However, it may cause side effects like dry mouth, constipation, nausea, and problems with urinating.
Botox, which is also known as Botulinum Toxin effectively blocks the receptors in your palm from signaling the sweat glands to start sweating.
It is a 6-month treatment and involves injecting Botox into your skin.
A side effect to this treatment may include the weakening of hand muscles.
If you have tried all the above-mentioned alternatives and still it has not effectively helped you with the issue, doctors may suggest surgery to permanently remove or injure sweat glands from your palms as a last resort.
When to see a Doctor?
You may also have other symptoms if sweaty Palm is caused by an underlying problem. See a doctor if sweating is accompanied by chills, chest pain, nausea, light-headedness, or a fever. Also make a doctor’s appointment if sweating worsens or interrupts your daily routine.
Consult the Doctor if your sweaty palms cause:
- Emotional distress
- Social withdrawal
- Disturbed sleep
- Worse over time
Now that you are aware of the different treatments, you may Consult with a Dermatologist and choose an appropriate solution.