Why do I have sweaty palms?

stress triggering factor

The reason is simple: “Hyperhidrosis is associated with hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. The secretion of sweat by the sweat glands is under the control of the nervous system”, summarize the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG). This is the reason why stress, fear, stage fright and all strong emotions are the factors for this excessive and sudden sweating of the hands, which can make the affected people very uncomfortable. But there is also discomfort in holding the steering wheel of a vehicle, using tools, working on a computer … and of course, shaking one’s hand, lists the ameli.fr site.

However, stress isn’t the only cause of sweaty palms. Palmar hyperhidrosis can also appear in hot weather, after physical exertion or after consuming alcohol and spicy foods. It “can also result from a more serious pathology such as cancer (leukemia, lymphoma) or endocrine disease (diabetes, hyperthyroidism).”

Can Palmar Hyperhidrosis Be Treated?

To reduce excessive sweat production, “the first-line treatment is to unclog pores using antiperspirant products based on alcohol or metal salts” such as aluminum, HUG says. In the dermatologist, it is also possible to inject botulinum toxin to stop the production of sweat, by blocking nerve transmission to the sweat glands.

Surgery is considered a last resort and is reserved for extreme forms of palmar hyperhidrosis. “Isolating, under general anesthesia, the sympathetic chain that stimulates the sweat glands” in thoracic sympathectomy. Effective, although this intervention is often complicated with compensatory sweating. Clearly, “sweating can go elsewhere on the body such as the chest, back or buttocks”.

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Note: About half of people with palmar hyperhidrosis have a family history.

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