ZocdocAnswersWhy are my hands constantly cold and clammy?

Question

Why are my hands constantly cold and clammy?

I am an 18 year old student and my hands sweat constantly. It has been happening for the past 12 months and it is getting in the way of my social life. I am taking no medication. I have tried cleaning my hands often and putting baby powder on them.

Answer

You may be dealing with something called hyperhydrosis. This is a condition in which the sweat glands are overactive. It is not a serious medical problem, but it can be embarrassing in social settings. Hyperhydrosis is strongly affected by stress and anxiety levels. Therefore, part of control it includes controlling your stress levels. You can do this by sleeping and eating well, exercising regularly, and maybe even participating in meditation or other relaxation exercises. If this doesn't work then you will need to talk to your doctor. The first level of treatment for hyperhydrosis is a drying agent. The most commonly used drying agent is aluminum chloride. Aluminum chloride is actually the same active ingredient as is used in antiperspirant deodorants, but it is available in a prescription strength from your doctor. If this does not work (and it does usually work for most people) the next level of treatment might be a medication out of the class of medications called anticholinergics, which work to decrease the stimulation of the sweat glands from the nerves supplying them. These can be effective, but they have more side effects like dry mouth than aluminum chloride, so they are used only in second place.

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

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