Sweaty hands are a drag, I’ve suffered from sweaty palms all my life. If your sweaty hands are effecting your social and work life, then you’re not alone, 1 in 100 people suffer from excessively sweaty hands (or palmar hyperhidrosis). You can hide your sweat from people by wiping your hands on your clothes before shaking their hand, but it can become embarrassing when you start to leave sweaty hand prints on everything you touch.
First off, it’s important to look at the situations where you begin to sweat. Do you sweat only in certain company, when put under stress, or performing certain tasks? If so, it could mean that your anxiousness is causing the excessive sweating, and then worrying about this sweat is making you sweat more, it’s a vicious cycle. This could mean that your anxiety is the cause of your sweaty hands and nothing more. If so it’s important you visit your doctor and try to get this underlying issue sorted out.
However, if you’re one of those people that sweats (sometimes excessively) for no reason whatsoever, you may have what’s known as hyperhidrosis.
For sweaty hands there’s not much you can do in terms of natural treatments, as any palmar hyperhidrosis is generally hard to manage. You can buy clinical strength antiperspirants that contain various concentrations of aluminium chloride that work well with armpit sweat especially. However, it does not have the same effect on the palms as it does on the armpits.
Another option is surgery. Due to the risks involved with this type of approach, I decided against it. If the thought of going under the knife doesn’t bother you then this could very well be the option for you. An example of a surgery for hyperhidrosis is ETS (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy). This involves collapsing the lung to and an incision to the chest to allow easy access to the sympathetic nervous system so that the over-active nerves causing your sweaty hands can be burned away.
ETS is quite a successful technique, however there are several major draw backs. For one, the danger that comes with this and any other surgery is one of the reasons many decide to opt out of this treatment. Also, it is very common for people who suffer from excessive sweaty hands to develop what is known as compensatory sweating (in the vast majority of cases actually) on other areas of the body after the surgery. This effects more than three quarters of the people who have ETS. In some cases the result is worse than before the procedure. And with the surgery being irreversible, it really is a difficult to decision to make.
Iontopheresis is another option for people who suffer from sweaty hands. This involves placing your hands in a shallow dish of water and allowing an electrical current to pass through them. Don’t worry, the voltage is usually around 12-16V so it’s not going to hurt. It’s successful on 80%+ of people. I’ve been using this treatment for over 15 years and it’s proven very effective for me personally. You can go and get this treatment from the doctors as I did, but it can be a pain to your daily schedule as you would need to go every day or so, and it only keeps the sweat away for 1-3 days. Another option is to buy your own. They’re relatively expensive at $500+ but it’s worth it to be able to use it every other day in your home at your own convenience. You can compare many of the Iontophoresis devices here.
Botox is a very painful alternative so I would try other options before this one. It can also be very expensive with prices ranging from $1500-$5000 per session which has to be repeated every 6 months or so.
Having looked at all the possibilities in great detail, surgery and medication were clearly out of the question for me personally. Instead I talked to my dermatologist and she recommended I try a combination of Iontopheresis treatment and a prescription antiperspirant such as Drysol. A combination of both these treatments proves very effective for me personally, however for someone else this may not be as helpful. Each to their own! My bet is though that by using those two you will significantly reduce your hand sweating, no doubt about it.