How often do you avoid shaking hands with people? Do you ever drip sweat on your computer or have to stop writing because you can’t hold on to the pen?
People who suffer from hyperhidrosis deal with these issues and many more because they just can’t stop sweating. Everything from holding hands to hugging their children to buttoning clothes becomes an issue. This is more than clammy palms. This is socially devastating.
If you’re dealing with sweaty hands or extreme sweat under your arms, there’s hope. Here’s why it happens and how to stop sweaty hands from interfering in your life.
What Causes Sweaty Hands?
The issue of sweaty hands starts in your mind. It’s as if the thought, “I hope I don’t start sweating!” triggers the sweat glands. Other times, it’s subconscious. You’re not thinking about sweating, but you start sweating for no clear reason. This isn’t a problem with the sweat glands. But it’s also not as easy as telling yourself to get over it. You don’t have control over the amount you sweat. It is an issue with the nerves. The nerves tell the brain to sweat, even though there’s no physical reason.
3 Ways to Fix Sweaty Hands
Fortunately, there are several options for treating sweaty hands. Whether topical, oral, or injection treatment, there’s a choice that’s right for you.
1. Aluminum Chloride
We first recommend trying an aluminum chloride treatment. Products like Drysol contain a high concentration of salt that plugs the pores. It’s a good first option, and it is very inexpensive. But it takes intentionality.
Its efficacy depends on how you apply it. Make sure your hands are dry. Then rub the solution of aluminum chloride into the skin in a circular motion to really work it into the pores. If your hands are wet or you don’t rub it in completely, it doesn’t work. As you rub it into your skin, you push salt into the pores of the skin. As it enters the sweat glands, the salt creates a plug that prevents sweat from leaving that gland.
2. Robinul (Glycopyrrolate)
This old indigestion medicine works great for general sweating. When people were first prescribed this medication for indigestion years ago, they noticed a significantly drier mouth and less sweat. Now, we recommend it to stop sweating in places where it’s hard to apply other products.
It works well, but it doesn’t stay around in the body. It only keeps you from sweating for 2-4 hours after you take the pill. Once the time is up, you need to take another dose or you’ll start sweating again. However, the results are immediate, and it’s easy to use.
Botox works by stopping glands from secreting completely. When injected into the skin, Botox prevents the nerves from stimulating secretion from the gland.
It’s most effective in the underarms, but higher doses work in the hands as well. It’s injected into the hand in a close-knit pattern. It’s a painful procedure, but its effects last for years. Some people don’t think the pain is worth it, but for those who have tried other treatments and want a more permanent solution, it’s worth the effort.
Botox for hand sweating is also an expensive treatment, but insurance may cover the injections. So, if you’re interested, check with your insurance company first.
Sweaty hands don’t have to disrupt your life any longer. If you’re dealing with hyperhidrosis, give your dermatologist a call to find the right treatment for you.
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.