Sweating is a natural body function. It is through the skin that we sweat to regulate body temperature and release toxins. We sweat more in response to excessive heat and this is how the body cools down. Sweating can occurs all over the body but occurs less frequently on the palm of the hands and sole of the feet. Excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis.
Sweaty hands (Palmar hyperhidrosis)
Individuals who have sweaty hands do have personal and social issues which could drive them to seek medical attention. Some of the personal embarrassments include the inability to firmly grasp objects, drive, turning a door knob, typing on the computer and the inability to do other mundane activities. Socially the source of embarrassment is being constantly told how moist or wet the palms are during a handshake. Intimate relationships can be affected by the excessive sweating of one spouse. There is nothing romantic about being touched by wet cold hands. Sweaty hands can cause high levels of anxiety, nervousness, embarrassment, distress and stress.
Sweating is a normal and regular body activity especially in warm climates. Excessive uncontrollable sweating is linked to the overstimulation of the sweat glands also called eccrine glands. They are found mainly on the feet, palms, face, armpits and groin. The glands are stimulated when your body is overheated, doing heavy manual work or during exercising. Non-physical stimuli can trigger sweating such as when you’re feeling emotional, or as a result of hormones. Sweating is caused by heightened activity in the sympathetic nervous system which is a part of the autonomic nervous system and it is located within the chest cavity. Unlike the voluntary nervous system i.e. the motor and sensory functions which we have control over, the sympathetic system is involuntary. Some of the triggers are:
- Emotional situations
- Mental tension
- Hormonal surges
Self-help home remedies
- Doing an apple cider soak
- Applying talcum powder
- Soaking hands for half an hour in cold water
- Soaking hands in a mixture of vinegar and rosewater
- Soaking hands in baking soda or cornstarch
- Applying a lotion made of vodka and lemon juice
- Soaking hands in a mixture of honey and apple cider
Other remedies include:
- Relaxation exercises such as meditation and yoga
Relaxation exercises focus on the breath, visualization and movement to reduce anxiety.
- Dietary changes
It is recommended to reduce the intake of caffeine. The ultimate goal should be to eliminate caffeine.
- Herbal teas such as chamomile, green tea or sage
These are some of the herbal teas which are calming and caffeine-free.
- Consuming apple cider in the morning
- Drinking wheatgrass juice up to 4 times daily
- Charcoal consumed on an empty stomach in the morning
Botox injections are better known for the treatment of underarm hyperhidrosis. This treatment is offered by some hospitals
Also known as electro antiperspirant uses mild electrical current to dramatically reduce sweating.
Dr. Reisfeld is well known for the surgical procedure called sympathectomy. He has had a high success rate of >90%. The procedure is performed with an endoscope using a fiber optic camera to enter and visualize the chest cavity. The 1-2 cm incisions made on each side of the chest cavity are small but adequate to allow for the passage of the endoscope and other surgical instruments. The sympathetic chain is then resected, coagulated, or clamped.
The solutions for sweaty hands range from conservative non-invasive methods to dramatic surgical procedure. We recommend starting with the self-help external soaking of the hands to reduce sweating. The natural herbal concoctions are also worth incorporating in your diet. The surgical interventions should be reserved for persons whose lives are seriously disrupted because of the profuse sweaty hands.
By pursuing the solutions for sweaty hands it is possible to take back control of embarrassing wet hands and regain confidence at work and play.