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Sweaty palms

Written by Healthwords's team of doctors and pharmacists based in UK | Updated: 26.01.2023 | 2 min read

Sweaty palms are also known as palmar hyperhidrosis. Sweaty palms can significantly impact a person's quality of life, physically, emotionally and psychologically. Sweating is one of the key ways our body regulates its temperature and effectively cools down. Overactive sweat glands cause individuals to sweat more than needed - this can lead to the experience of sweaty palms. Sweaty palms do not usually indicate a serious problem but on occasion, it can be caused by an underlying condition.

What causes sweaty palms?

Sweaty palms can run in families and for the majority of people, it is a minor problem. Some underlying health conditions linked to sweaty palms include chronic diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, obesity, disorders of the nervous system, and chronic alcoholism or drug addiction. 

Sweaty palms can occasionally also be a symptom of other conditions such as heart attack, infection, low blood sugar, or hot flushes associated with menopause. It can also be a side effect of some medications. 

What are the symptoms of sweaty palms?

Sweaty palms happen outside of changes related to temperature or activity. It can affect anywhere on the hand but the commonest site is the palms, causing them to feel wet and cold. 

What can my doctor do?

Your doctor can recommend different treatments for you if it is causing you significant concern or affecting your daily activities. 

There are some prescribed medication can be used to treat sweaty palms. These are called anticholinergics, and they are used outside of their main intended purpose and have to be given after careful consideration of other medical conditions you may have.  

Your doctor may also refer you for botox surgery, which is where botulinum toxin is injected into your palms to block the receptors from sweating. These injections last for about 6 months at a time. As a last resort, surgery may be considered to damage or remove the sweat glands in your palms.  

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