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What can I do to make my hands stop sweating so much?

I am a 38 year old woman, and I have had this problem since I was in about 4th grade. I can remember when I was in class and I had to do a timed test or something like that, my hands would start sweating and they wouldn't always stop. It started around that time. My paper I was writing on would get wet, and I would have to wipe my hands on my clothes. I usually have a sign that they are going to sweat. They start to hurt and tingle. Then they start sweating until they drip. The only way I have been able to make it stop is if it is cold outside. That seems to slow or stop the process. It works if I am not doing anything, but the moment I start doing something, or if my temperature goes up, they start again. I am used to it, since I have been living with it for so long. I am just wondering if there is any way to stop it. I get so embarassed, because I can't hold my husband's hand, I can't pick up my kids without making them wet from my hands. If I use the computer, I make the keys wet from sweating. I really dread shaking someone's hand for the first time because mine will be cold and clammy. For me it is normal because I have had to learn to live with it, but I wish there was a way to control it. I have read a few things online, but have never talked to someone about treatment for it. It is just a really hard thing to live with.
This is a very unfortunate problem to be dealing with all of these years later, and it is obviously affecting your quality of life. At this time, given the strong emotional response that you exhibit in your question, you need to speak to a doctor about your problem. Likely the best place to start is your primary care doctor, but he or she will probably end up referring you to either a neurologist, or else skipping that step and moving directly to a thoracic surgeon. Your primary care doctor might feel comfortable starting some different medications that can help your body to not sweat as much, but alternatively he might feel that a neurologist would be the best bet given that some of the commonly used medications have many side effects. Ultimately, there is potential that you might be referred to a thoracic surgeon. He or she would be able to offer you the alternative of a sympathectomy, which is a relatively simple procedure during which some of the nerves that innervate the sweat glands of your hands are destroyed. This causes them to not function, which helps many people to have decreased sweating in their hands. When a problem is causing you this much anxiety, it is something that should be addressed. Please start by talking to your doctor or a neurologist (nerve specialist doctor).
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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