For some people, sweaty palms are not a sign of nervousness, they are a fact of everyday life. This can impact a person’s quality of life, causing them to shy away from socializing and certain activities.
There is a very thin line between normal sweating and excessive sweating. The latter is also medically referred to as hyperhidrosis. It is usually characterised by sweating without any obvious reason at all. Compared to normal sweating which is usually triggered by stress, anxiety, excitement, or genetics, hyperhidrosis does not have definite causes and may happen more frequently even after you keep washing your hands.
What you need to know about excessive sweating
Excessive perspiration from the palms or underarms can be embarrassing and may cause emotional, professional, and social problems. Although bothered by excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis, patients often don’t realize it can be treated and therefore do not seek medical help.
While the exact cause is unknown, 4 out of 10 patients also have relatives with the problem. This proves the theory that genetics play a vital role in having sweaty palms.
The reason patients experience symptoms relates to increased activity of certain nerves that are normally triggered under certain stressful situations such as job interviews, special occasions, or test taking.
These patients often experience excessive levels of sweating, even when they are not in stressful situations.
The human body has two different sets of nerves: the voluntary (somatic) nervous system and the involuntary (autonomic) system.
The voluntary nervous system has nerves that give us sensation (pain, heat, and touch) as well as muscle control.
On the other hand, the involuntary nervous system contains nerves that control many of our bodily functions that occur without thinking such as breathing, the beating of our heart, and sweating.
The involuntary nervous system is made up of two components: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic systems. It is the sympathetic nervous system that controls the sweating throughout our bodies.
Some people have overactive sympathetic nerves that cause the sweat glands to produce too much sweat inappropriately so that the person with this condition may be embarrassed by having sweaty hands and armpits during normal daily activities and in certain situations.
Causes of hyperhidrosis
A number of health issues can cause sweaty palms, as can menopause, which is a natural transition.
Various factors, including obesity and menopause, can change how much or how often the body sweats.
The issue often becomes noticeable in childhood, improves after a person turns 40, and usually stops after the age of 60.
If your sweating is not a symptom of an underlying illness, a doctor may diagnose “palmar hyperhidrosis,” the medical term for sweaty palms.
Palmar hyperhidrosis can severely impact a person’s quality of life. The sweating can sometimes cause emotional and psychological distress and interfere with daily activities.
A person with palmar hyperhidrosis experiences:
- excessive sweating that is not a result of changes in body temperature or physical activity
- sweating that tends to affect the palms and fingers, though it can occur all over the hands.
- the palms regularly becoming cold and wet
- in some cases, swelling of the fingers
Meanwhile, sweaty palms can be a symptom of various health issues. Some of them include:
- prescription drug use, with the sweating as a side effect
- alcohol use disorder or drug addiction
- infections, such as tuberculosis or sepsis
- endocrine conditions, including diabetes and thyroid disorders
- neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and a stroke
Whatever the cause may be, home remedies and medical treatments can help. However, it is always best to ask your doctor first before you decide which treatment to use. Determining the root cause is key to knowing the best possible sweaty palms treatment.
Easy ways to stop sweaty palms
You can try to experiment with these five simple and practical ways to stop sweaty hands. They’re natural and free, not to mention without any side effects as well.
1. Practice conscious de-stressing techniques.
Consider meditation and yoga as a way of managing stress and anxiety.
Avoiding anxious and uncomfortable situations may not always be possible, but you can work to alleviate the stress associated with them. There are even courses in public speaking and business dealings that can help you cope and excel in stressful situations.
2. Avoid stress sweating.
Feeling stressed can make you sweat more but if you’re already sweating, that in itself can cause you to feel stressed and anxious.
Deodorants and antiperspirants can restore your confidence when your body starts to sweat. It can help avoid discomfort or further stress when you’re faced with something difficult.
3. Keep your hands clean.
Wash your hands regularly to remove odours and keep them fresh. Try not to use soap too often, though – it can dry out your skin and make your hands sweat more.
4. Use talc powder to dry your hands.
If your sweaty palms are making holding things tricky give them a light dusting of talcum or baby powder. This will help with your grip and keep your hands drier for longer.
5. Eat healthy food and keep a balanced diet.
A good start is to try and remove highly processed foods and refined sugars from your diet. These types of foods take a lot of effort for your body to digest and cause it to generate much more heat than normal. Switch to whole grains, and if you need a sugar fix, snack on some naturally sweet fruit.
Spicy foods, peppers, and chilies will naturally make you heat up too. Look for calcium-rich foods like yogurt to cool your body down. Calcium acts as a natural temperature regulator for the body, as does sage and peppermint.
Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. When your body is hydrated, it’s much easier for it to stay cool.
If the above remedies don’t work, you may want to see you doctor for more intensive treatments. These may include switching to a stronger antiperspirant and getting Anti Wrinkle Injection injections.
Botulinum toxin, better known as Anti Wrinkle Injection, can also help treat sweaty palms by blocking receptors that tell the sweat glands to start sweating. The results treatment lasts for approximately 6 months. It involves a healthcare provider injecting Botox into the skin.
As always, Skin Club recommends having an initial consultation with your doctor before any treatment. This allows us to gauge the situation and know more about you to provide you with the best treatment possible.
Visit SKIN CLUB Cosmetic Doctors to ensure a safe and cost-efficient Excessive Sweating Treatment in Melbourne.