When we speak of “sweaty palms”, many people will immediately think about heart disease because it is possible that we may have heard these symptoms mentioned in relation to such a disorder. However, the truth is that abnormally sweaty palms – which are not associated with heat exposure, stress or exercise – could be a symptom of hyperhidrosis, a condition caused by the lymphatic and autonomic nervous systems which are responsible for perspiration control.
Nonetheless, hyperhidrosis tends to affect only some areas of the body, with the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and underarm areas all being possible locations for the sweating to occur.
All of us sweat but if that sweating takes on any of the following qualities, it could be a sign of hyperhidrosis:
Generally speaking there are no dangers posed to the lives of hyperhidrosis sufferers, although there may be some situations where the person’s underlying health condition, for instance, thyrotoxicosis can cause problems arising from heightened metabolism. With regard to heart disease, the condition is not the cause of sweaty palms despite what many people believe.
Although hyperhidrosis does not place the sufferer’s life at risk, the profuse perspiration it causes can lead to issues related to a person’s self-esteem. It can make them feel uncomfortable in most social situations and experience a reduction in their overall quality of life. Hence, if you think you may be suffering from this disorder, consult a specialist to undergo diagnosis and targeted treatment thereafter. Doctors will carefully analyze the type of sweat produced in conjunction with a full body assessment to ensure the treatment they provide is effective and allows the patient to make a confident return to their daily life.
Treatment for sweaty palms may come in the form of antiperspirants that encourage sweat gland function, Botox injections or iontophoresis electrical stimulation therapy. There are also treatments available that provide long-term relief alongside immediate results, such as thoracoscopic surgery.
M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, 2008
M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, 2003.