What causes sweaty hands and feet? Get more insights on the causes, how to stop and best cure for sweaty feet, hands and armpits.

Sweaty hands and Feet

Hyperhidrosis or also called excessive sweating, is a usual condition that produces a lot of unhappiness in an individual. A small number of people suffer from the excessive sweating condition of the underarms also known as axillary hyperhidrosis or of the hands and soles of the feet referred also as palmoplantar hyperhidrosis.

Underarm sweating problems tend to begin around stage of puberty, while sweaty hands and feet and excessive sweating might begin earlier, often during childhood stage. If the condition is left untreated, these problems can continue throughout the life of an individual.

Sweating is very embarrassing, with stained clothes, and can also complicate the business and social interactions of people. A lot of cases of sweaty hands and feet can have serious practical results, for instance making it hard to hold a pen, or even grip a steering wheel of a car, or shake hands with other people

The most active and affected regions of sweating that includes the hands, feet, the armpits and the groin area due to a relatively high level and concentration of sweat glands that are found in those areas.

Excessive sweating can be congenital or as an acquired condition. Congenital implies that you are with it at birth, while an acquired condition implies that you are not born with it; the condition can be acquired later in life of an individual after birth.

Excessive sweaty hands and feet can be categorized as being the result of another health condition of a person, or with no clear cause.

According to the medical studies like the British National Health Service (NHS), about 3% of the UK population is affected by excessive sweaty hands and feet. Studies of the International Hyperhidrosis Society, about the same percentage of the world’s population is also affected. In the United States, this reflects to about 7.9 million people.

For a few individuals, excessive sweating are so harsh that it becomes embarrassing, thus causing a lot of discomfort and anxiety. The International Hyperhidrosis Society has described the results of excessive sweating as at times even disabling. The patient’s choice of career, free time to dos, inter-personal relationships, self-image and emotional well-being of people may also be affected.

Fortunately, there are a lot of options that can treat symptoms effectively. In very severe cases surgery may effectively stop the excessive sweating. The NHS mentions that the biggest impediment in treatment of excessive sweating is the noticeable number of people that do not seek medical advice from qualified doctors, either as a result of embarrassment or even as they do not understand that required treatment exists.

Excessive sweaty hands and feet is part of the body’s cooling adopted mechanism – to regulate the body temperature. When it is extermely hot, the body produce sweat. The excess sweat on the skin will evaporate, taking away heat from the body.

Excessive sweating is when the body sweat more than we have so as to regulate and maintain the body temperature. It is also defined as sweating that leads to disruption of normal activities. Periodic episodes of excessive sweating happen at least once or twice a week for no provided reason.

There is no recognized sweat measurement which can be associated to weight of the body with heat triggers, like the environmental temperature, during exercise, etc. individuals realize when they sweat excessively and thus it starts to have an effect on peoples social life or even daily activities.

However, most studies has suggested that people with primary hyperhidrosis are no longer and are also no less prone to feelings of anxiety, level of being nervous or the emotional stress than the other areas of the population when subjected to the same environmental and physical conditions.

In fact, it is the other way round – we also understand that the emotional as well as the mental feelings occurred to many patients with excessive sweating are because of the results of hyperhidrosis.

The emotional and mental feelings do not create and even cause the excess sweating; but it is the excessive sweating that creates the emotional and mental problems.

Research has also indicated that certain genes play a vital role in excessive sweating, making the situation appear like that it could well be of an inherited condition. The majority of people and patients with primary excessive sweating have a sibling or even a parent with the condition of excessive sweating.

It is assumed that the condition of the sympathetic nervous system is connected to the development and provides a lead to primary hyperhidrosis. The sympathetic nervous system, and also the parasympathetic nervous system work on the involuntary functions – the sympathetic nervous system is important in performing the accelerating the heart beat rate, the urine output, the movement of the food via the digestive system, restriction of the blood vessels, raising of the blood pressure and the excess production of sweat.

In the event that the sympathetic nervous system senses increase of heat in the body, it signals the ganglia also called nerve pathways the sweat glands to produce sweat, thus making body temperature to reduce. Researchers believe that the ganglia is over-stimulated in the primary excessive sweating to over-produce sweat.

The palms part of the hands and the soles part of the feet experience excessive sweat from the sweat glands than all other part of the body. Excessive sweating of the hand is the most usual problem of sweating; hands that are sweaty usually also come with sweaty feet. In more severe and extreme cases of sweaty hands and feet, the situation can greatly have an effect on a person’s social life, work performance and also health condition.

When the condition of sweaty hands and feet turns to a severe condition, they are called palmar hyperhidrosis and pedal hyperhidrosis respectively. They happen to run in generations of families, and commonly start in early childhood stage and become worse in the teenage stage years and also early adulthood stage. The condition of sweaty hands and feet are likely lead to developing of cracked and scaling of the skin, frostbite and fungal infections.

Treatment options that are advised by medical doctors to the condition of sweaty hands and feet vary depending on the intensity and how good the affected individual responds to treatment. There are a lot of over-the-counter skin products or prescription antiperspirants for only the light to moderate cases diagnosed.

Apply the over the counter powder, lotion or cream on the hands palms or feet soles, covered with a plastic wrap overnight, and then washed off in the morning using warm water. Iontophoresis that makes use of a mild electrical current to temporarily reduce the sweat gland production of sweat is also useful for sweaty hands and feet.

Botox injections, although they are quite painful, are also important to those who suffer from severe sweating. When all these methods suggested fail, then surgery is usually the last option. Quite usually, a single method used on an individual that works for that person may not work in reduction of sweat for another person, so it is recommended that you use a combination of methods.

In addition to the condition, the stress, emotional stimuli of the person, the anxiety and certain foods that a person takes play important roles in the development of the sweaty condition. Individuals should generate ways to reduce these things via relaxation techniques, changing of the diets and increased level of exercise is important.

How to Stop Sweaty Hands and Feet

For severe cases of hand sweating, endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is the preferred method to use. For excessive armpit sweating being the sole presentation then axillary suction curettage is the recommended method.

For those who suffer from the severe cases of excessive foot sweating as the primary condition or when sympathectomy method did not help in their sweaty feet then lumbar sympathectomy is provided now as a surgical solution to the condition.

If a usual antiperspirant does not help to control your sweating condition of your body, the general practitioner can prescribe a stronger one that works for the skin.

Antiperspirant that has aluminum chloride is usually used in the treatment of excessive sweating. This works by plugging of the sweat gland that is responsible for production of sweat. This should be applied at night before an individual goes to sleep and then washed in the morning using warm water.

The usual side effect that is associated with aluminium chloride in treating sweaty hands and feet is mild irritation or even the itching in the areas of the body where they are applied. Using these antiperspirant in a less frequency can help reduction of irritation. Using moisturizers regularly and substitutes of soap instead of soap may also help greatly.

Botulinum toxin can also be injected into the skin especially in areas of the body that are affected by excessive sweating. This helps in reduction of sweat in these areas through blocking the signals from the brain directed to the sweat glands.

About 20 injections are given to the affected areas of the body, such as the armpits, hands, face or the feet. The procedure can take about 30-45 minutes.

The consequences of the injections from the procedure usually lasts for several months, after which time then the treatment can be necessarily repeated.

Potential side effects that are common botulinum toxin injections include:

  • Pain or itching to areas where the injections are given
  • Nausea and hot flushes after the injections are given to a person.
  • another part of the body that is sweating more to make up for treated area – also known as compensatory sweating
  • muscle weakness may sometimes be experienced around the treatment area

Most of these mentioned side effects happens in a shorter period of time and resolves as the effect of the injections goes away.

Availability of this toxin on the NHS varies widely depending on the clinical commissioning group, and a person may only be able to get it privately from other places. Costs that are associated to application of this toxin for private treatment greatly depends on the part of the body that is being treated.

Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is also the most widely used type of surgery that is applied in treatment of excessive sweating. It is used in the cases affecting the palms of the hands or armpits.

Small incisions are applied in the side of the chest and the also nerves that are in charge of controlling sweating especially in the affected area are clipped. This means that signals cannot be able to pass along them through the sweat glands. The operation is carried out strictly under the general anesthetic and must be applied on both sides of the body.

Sweaty Hands Cure

A doctor may be prescribe a type of medicine referred to as an anticholinergic. These works by blocking of the effects of a chemical in the body called acetylcholine, that the nervous system usually use in activation of the sweat glands.

Anticholinergics are also found in form of tablets or solutions that are applied directly to affected areas of the body. They are however not widely used in treatment of excessive sweaty hands and feet and most of the types are not licensed in treatment of the condition, but some affected individuals find them useful.

Propantheline bromide is a type of anticholinergic medicine that is licensed for treating excessive sweating. However, other anticholinergic medicines unlicensed for sweaty hands and feet – such as oxybutynin – can also be prescribed by the doctor if the doctor finds that they can be helpful.

Possible side effects that are associated with anticholinergics include, blurred vision, stomach cramps, dry mouth, constipation as well as difficulty in passing of urine

How to Stop Sweaty Armpits

There is now a medically proven cure for the condition of excessive sweating. Sweaty palms, feet and even the armpits or any other combination of the excessive sweating condition is referred to medically as hyperhidrosis and the condition is curable.

The well-researched and proven procedure for the condition is available and in practice at The Center for Hyperhidrosis in California. At this center, the leading research expert and most experienced excessive sweaty hands and feet surgeons, can be able to do away with the discomfort and embarrassment associated with excessive sweating using simple outpatient surgical procedures.

The said surgical procedures for excessive sweating are well-researched and proven to take advantage of the latest studies in endoscopic techniques.

The need to control excessive sweating with simple very means such as pills, lotions, etc. is outdated. Doctors in the medical field have thus tried to treat this condition of excessive sweating with pills, lotions, electric devices and bio-feedback. The success rate that has been associated with these treatment for the severe cases of excessive sweating condition is extremely limited.

Surgical treatments of sweaty hands and feet were available for use for the last about 50 years. Usually the first surgical approaches were quite invasive and had several complications and effects. Since the invention of optical surgical equipment, endoscopic surgeries has become the yardstick for several procedures.

Sympathectomy, thoracic a procedure that is aimed for hand sweating as well as lumbar that is aimed at reducing foot sweating, can now be easily done occasionally on an outpatient basis. There are also minimal and small incisions and the affected person can return to normal life in a short period of time.

Underarm Sweat Pads

Iontophoresis is very helpful if you have the problem of excessive sweating that affects the hands and or feet. It can also be used in treatment of the armpits, although this method is usually less effective.

Iontophoresis is treating of the affected areas with a weak electric current that is passed through water or even a wet pad. This is believed that it helps in blocking of the sweat glands.

If the sweaty hands and feet need treatment, place them in a bowl of water at home and a weak electric current is then passed through the bowl water. If the armpits need treatment too, a wet contact pad is put against each of the armpits and the weak current is then passed through the wet pad.

The treatment of sweaty hands and feet using this method is not painful but the electric current that is passed can cause mild, short-lived discomfort and less often skin irritation.

Each session of this procedure lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, and there is need to have two to five sessions a week. The symptoms may begin to show up after a week or three, after which more treatment may be needed at one to five week intervals, depending on how severe the symptoms are showing.

The procedure is often proven and very effective, although there may be need to make regular visits to the dermatologists office to receive treatment.

Alternatively, the procedure kits that can be used at home may be recommended by the doctor, with prices ranging from £250-500.

Further references;

  1. Hyperhidrosis: http://www.medicinenet.com/hyperhidrosis/article.htm
  2. Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/182130.php
  3. Chinese Medicine Treatment for Sweaty Palms and Feet: http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/exam/internal_sweaty_palms.html
  4. Excessive sweating: causes, treatment and coping tips: http://www.healthxchange.com.sg/healthyliving/SkinBeauty/Pages/Sweaty-Palms-and-Feet-Coping-Tips.aspx
  5. The Center For Hyperhidrosis: http://www.sweaty-palms.com/