Sweating of hands is a normal body process that cools and lubricates the skin. It is a response to the rise in the temperature in your body. However, cold clammy hands occur due to excessive sweating. It is common in both men and women. It affects 1% of the population in the US. Previously, the sweating of palms was rendered as a psychosomatic illness, which is not very evident these days. Though it may not be harmful, it can be a cause of embarrassment and may even prevent the sufferer from doing things that he/she may like to do, for example, meeting people, shaking hands, going on dates, etc. Such people usually develop a low self-esteem and lack confidence.
Clammy hands occur due to hyperactive nerves, that send signals to the sweat glands in the skin in the sympathetic nervous system. The amount of sweating in the hands primarily depends on how hot are the conditions around, and also on the stimulation of sweat glands by the nerves that supply them.
"Hence, clammy hands basically mean profuse or excessive sweating, that occurs at times other than in hot conditions or after exercise."
This condition, which is characterized by abundant perspiration produced by overactive sweat glands, is called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis can cause anxiety, nervousness or distress for people who have it, that eventually leads to additional sweating. Clammy hands can also be a symptom of various chronic infections or disorders like:
- Acromegaly, enlargement of bones of hands and feet
- Anxiety disorders
- Cancer or carcinoid syndrome
- Glucose control disorders
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Peripheral Arterial Disease
- Tuberculosis and other infections
- Use of certain medications
Switch to an air-conditioned room if possible. Avoid keeping your hands warm by wearing gloves or stuffing them in your pockets. Avoid stress, and as far as possible keep your calm and relax. Allow air to circulate between your fingers and around your palms.
Usually, people do not know how to combat this problem. However, there are different ways to get rid of clammy hands and feet. Most of them are expensive, like a surgery that removes all the sweat glands in your hands and your feet, or botox injections. Medications like Drysol can also be used to treat clammy hands, but this medicine should be opted only under a doctor's prescription. The good news is, that clammy hands can be cured at home as well. Here are a few home remedies for it.
- Rub talcum powder over your palms. They will block your pores temporarily, and this will stop the perspiration temporarily.
- Use an antiperspirant, like a roll on or something. This will react with the electrolytes present in sweat to form gel plugs that obstruct the sweat ducts.
- If none of the above are available, you can substitute them with cornstarch.
- You can also soak your hands in tea (water) for about half an hour, at least once a week. Tea has tannic acid present in it. Tannic acid helps in drying your hands very effectively. Do this only once or twice a week, to prevent excess drying.
- Use creams or powders containing aluminum chloride or apple cider vinegar. Apply this to your palms and leave it overnight. Rinse off in the morning.
- You can also rub witch hazel (an extract from the witch hazel tree) over your palms.
- Soak your hands in cold water for 30 minutes. It will prevent sweat for a couple of hours.
- Mix rose water and white vinegar in an equal proportion, then rub the mixture over your palms, twice a day. (maybe morning and evening or night).
- Soak your hands in tomato juice for 20 minutes, then scrub your hands with the same juice and wash it off.
- Rub a lemon over your palms, leave it on for 5 minutes and rinse off.
- Drink cold water and cold juices. It will help in lowering the body temperature.
- Keep a napkin or a handkerchief to wipe your hands dry, whenever necessary.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.