June 20, 2024

Why Are My Hands So Clammy?

Having clammy hands can be a little discomforting. Oftentimes, we experience clamminess when we’re nervous or stressed. Our hands become moist, cold, and sometimes even sticky. It’s a strange sensation, to say the least. But why exactly do our hands get so clammy? There are several reasons, and they’re all linked to our nervous system and how it reacts to various stimuli.

Your body has a unique way of handling the inner workings called homeostasis. Whenever your brain perceives a threat – real or imagined – the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for our fight or flight response) swings into action. The result? Your palms become cold and clammy. Why cold? Because as blood is directed towards critical areas for a possible flee or fight situation, extremities like your hands get less of it, becoming cold.

The same goes for sweat. When your nervous system is activated due to stress or anxiety, the sweat glands in your palms produce sweat in abundance, leading your hands to become clammy. The moisture in your palms is caused by an overactive nervous system. This overactivity is often triggered by stressors such as anxiety, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), or in some cases, an overactive thyroid gland.

A Look at The Hyperhidrosis Condition

While many people might experience clammy hands from time to time due to stress or anxiety, some people suffer from a condition known as hyperhidrosis, where excessive sweating is not necessarily tied to stress or exercise. You might sweat so much that it soaks through your clothes or drips off your hands. This can be embarrassing and might even create problems with normal daily activities.

Hyperhidrosis is generally divided into two categories: Focal or primary, which tends to affect both sides of the body equally and occurs at least once a week, and generalised or secondary, which is usually caused by a medical condition or medication. While the exact cause of primary hyperhidrosis is unknown, secondary hyperhidrosis has many known causes such as the menopause, hyperthyroidism, certain types of cancer, to name a few.

Treatment Options – From Home Remedies to Medicine

If your hand clamminess is caused by normal nervousness, home remedies such as relaxation techniques, yoga or deep-breathing exercises can help. You should also avoid triggers like caffeine and nicotine that can stimulate sweating. Removing or reducing these can help control the situation. It’s also good to use an antiperspirant on your palms to control sweat.

If these strategies don’t alleviate your sweaty palms, it might be time to speak with a doctor. In severe cases or if you’re diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, you may require further treatment like medication or even surgery.

One of the most effective ways to treat hyperhidrosis is through hyperhidrosis treatment medication. There are usually two types – topical medication to be applied to the skin, such as antiperspirant, and systemic medication, which are drugs taken by mouth or injected. These can include anticholinergic drugs that reduce sweating, and botox injections, which work by blocking the nerves that trigger your sweat glands. These treatment options can greatly alleviate the symptoms and improve the quality of life.

However, it might not always be a one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s crucial that you speak with your health care provider to understand which treatment options are best suited to your individual needs and situation. As always, also maintain good hygiene habits, hydrate well, and keep stress levels under check, to manage this condition in a holistic manner.