Excessive Hand Sweating

What is palmar hyperhidrosis?

Palmar hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the hands or palms. It can cause embarrassment as those who suffer have to deal with sweaty handshakes and ruined schoolwork from oily, sweaty palms. It can cause humiliation and isolation and is the most common form of hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. If you are among those who suffer from this, you can breathe a little easier, there are treatments available. You should discuss these treatments in detail with a trained and accredited medical professional.

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Treatment Options


The most common treatment for palmar hyperhidrosis is antiperspirant, which common to popular opinion, are not just designed for use on underarms only. Antiperspirants range from regular to clinical strength and are available over the counter. If the regular strength does not help, try clinical strength. If this is still not effective, you can ask your doctor for a prescription strength antiperspirant. It is recommended that you apply them at night to completely dry skin and never wrap your hands as this will only irritate the skin further. If you have severe allergic reactions to the stronger antiperspirants as a lot of people do, you will want to look into other forms of treatment for palmar hyperhidrosis.


Another method of treatment for excessive hand sweating is Iontophoresis. This is a procedure in which the patient’s hands are immersed in a pan of mineral water in which a very mild electric current will then pass through the water. This is believed to microscopically thicken the outermost layer of skin, which then blocks the sweat from flowing to the surface of the skin. Treatments are usually given a few times a week at first, then once or twice a month and then eventually they will stop if the sweating no is no longer a problem. However, if additional treatment is needed you can either purchase or rent an iontophoresis machine with a doctor’s prescription and do the treatments at home as needed.


Botox injections

The next level of treatment for palmar hyperhidrosis is Botox injections. In order to eliminate the pain that is normally associated with Botox injections, some medical professionals will use a icing or vibration technique. Botox injections have little to no side effects and can last from six months to a year. They will need to be repeated when the symptoms return.

ETS Surgery

For the most severe cases of palmar hyperhidrosis, your doctor may recommend endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery, or ETS, in which tiny incisions are made in the palms to cut the nerves that activate the sweat glands. It is a highly effective procedure when used for hyperhidrosis of the hands, face and feet, but there are some side effects such as  scarring and compensatory sweating. Compensatory sweating is when your body adapts by sweating in another area other than the one treated. Suppose you had surgery for your palms, you might start to sweat more from your face or back. Another deterrent of ETS is that is not reversible and can be quite costly.


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