Having sweaty palms can be embarrassing, especially when you need to shake somebody’s hand. Sometimes you can get away with a simple fist bump, but in a formal setting like a job interview, that’s probably not appropriate. When you are nervous, and your palms become sweaty you may wonder why your hands produce so much sweat in the first place.
Sweating is your body’s natural way of cooling itself off. This is important when your body temperature is rising. Your body usually produces more sweat when it’s warm outside, or when you’re simply working out. Palms sweating excessively when they don’t physiologically(physically) need to, is a sign of a condition called palmar hyperhidrosis. Palmar hyperhidrosis is said to affect up to 3% of the population, and have a significant impact on everyday life. According to the hyperhidrosis society, about a third of people with social anxiety disorder will experience hyperhidrosis. Furthermore, secondary hyperhidrosis is the result of a medical condition(e.g. anxiety, obesity) or medication that leads to excessive sweating.
Why do Palms get Sweaty?
Having social anxiety makes it difficult to deal with social interactions.A surprising amount of social interactions require a shake of the hand, whether it be a greeting or farewell, introductions to a friend, or award ceremonies etc. The exact causes of palmar hyperhidrosis isn’t exactly known, but the causes can be identified as a mixture of hereditary, nervous system and anxiety related factors.
Sweat Glands and the ‘Nervous’ System
Your sweating is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, which helps control the way your body reacts to emotional stress. When you experience anxiety or stress your sympathetic nervous system responds by activating the body’s sweat glands. Furthermore, anxiety and stress aggravate palmar hyperhidrosis, which causes ‘nervous sweating’.
There are two types of sweat glands(apocrine, eccrine). Apocrine sweat glands are more commonly associated with hair follicles, a small factor when it comes to sweaty palms. The Eccrine glands are the ones responsible for your sweaty palms. These are major sweat glands found all over your skin. Eccrine glands are the most dense in your palms, and the soles of your feet.
Hyperhidrosis has a genetic component to it. Also, people that develop hyperhidrosis in their childhood years, are more likely to have inherited the condition. A study done by UCLA demonstrates the likeliness of hyperhidrosis being hereditary. Out of the 49 people sample size that suffered from hyperhidrosis, 32(65%) of them were reported to have somebody in their family history with this condition. The results also showed that 5% of the population is at risk for developing hyperhidrosis if they have a specific genetic variation (allele). People with this genetic variation have a 25% chance of developing hyperhidrosis. However, the ordinary person only has a 1% chance of developing the condition.
Which Comes First, Anxiety or Sweaty Palms?
This is a which comes first, the chicken or the egg type situation. The disease is a physiological one, meaning that it isn’t necessarily all in your head. There are many causes for hyperhidrosis like diabetes and low blood sugar. Secondary hyperhidrosis occurs when hyperhidrosis is caused by medication or an underlying mental health symptom.
Social anxiety is a mental health condition that aggravates these symptoms. This means that getting to the root of your social anxiety, can help quell your sweaty palms. Also, treating hyperhidrosis in itself can actually reduce symptoms of social anxiety and social withdrawal as well. Some people may realize that their palms sweat much less when you’re in a socially safe environment, while others are constantly sweating puddles. On the other hand, many people isolate themselves because of their hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis Affects Your Life
I sympathize with people suffering from an anxiety disorder, because many physical symptoms of anxiety such as clammy hands and stuttering can make social interactions much more difficult for anybody.
Aside from social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder can be developed as a symptom to the disorder. The excessive sweating can make it harder to concentrate at work and school. You may also have trouble simply relaxing with friends and family members. The physical and emotional discomfort can also affect your sleep schedule, by keeping you up at night as well.
Treatments for Palmar Hyperhidrosis
With the lack of research into palmar hyperhidrosis, the most common solutions are home remedies, Antiperspirants, or medical procedures.
Topical Antiperspirants — Sweaty Palm Hand Lotion
If you’re looking for more of a quick practical solution, topical antiperspirants are your friendAntiperspirants can reduce your sweating by using aluminum based ingredients. These gels are able to plug the sweat glands that are able to seep through your skin. You can get some prescribed, but surprisingly many over the counter drug stores only offer antiperspirants for sweaty armpits, and not sweaty palms. To purchase Carpe antiperspirant hand lotion, that will keep the sweat off your palms click here.
You’ve probably heard of botox before. Doctors like to use it in very small doses to remove wrinkles, and improve people’s physical appearance, especially the face.
Botox can be injected into your hands to reduce sweating. Botox blocks the nerves signals that are in charge of activating your sweat glands. It only stops sweating in the injected area. For instance, if you inject botox into your hands, you can still experience excessive sweating in the feet. This procedure can greatly reduce sweating. The effects last about half a year, yet the injections can be painful. Some medical professionals opt for botox sprays instead.