ZocdocAnswersWhy am I sweating so much from my palms?

Question

Why am I sweating so much from my palms?

I'm a 33 year old male, and my hands have been unmanageably sweaty for the last few years. Initially, I thought it was due to just general nervousness and heat, but now I feel like it's an issue that concerns my social interactions. I do not sweat excessively elsewhere, otherwise. Is there something topical I can put on or does this require surgery or something more complicated?

Answer

The condition you are describing is likely idiopathic hyperhidrosis. Essentially, this is a disorder of the area of your brain that regulates your sweat glands' response to emotional stress. Specifically, a certain type of sweat gland (known as an eccrine sweat gland) is affected. Since the highest concentration of eccrine sweat glands in the body are in the hands, feet and armpits, people with idiopathic hyperhidrosis tend to have symptoms of excessive sweat in only these areas. There are many treatment options available: - Topical therapy: prescription antiperspirants (eg Drysol or Xerac) are effective a controlling excessive armpit sweating, but are less effective when applied to the feet or hands - Oral medications: there a several options available (eg Robinol), but many are limited by their side effects (dry mouth, dry eyes, urinary retention. - Ionotrophoresis: essentially you soak your hands in an ionic solution with a current applied (can be done in a sink at home). this is particularly effective for excessive hand sweating. - Botox injections: injecting botox into areas of excessive sweating is an effective therapy. however, it is also very expensive and normally used only when the above mentioned therapies fail. Also, some people find taking anti-anxiety meds or beta-blockers to help reduce the emotional stress that worsens the sweating to be helpful. You should schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss these treatment options.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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