Palmar hyperhidrosis or excessive hand sweating is the most common and troublesome form of hyperhidrosis. People with palmar hyperhidrosis have cold and clammy hands that sweat excessively. Hand sweating can be initiated by emotional distress, nervousness, stressful situations and anxiety. Excessive sweating could also be seen with no stimulus.
Sweaty hands may also be associated with excessive sweating syndrome consisting of palmar hyperhidrosis, sweaty armpits, sweaty face or sweaty feet. However the most common combination is sweaty palms and sweaty feet. Symptoms usually start in early teens and continue through entire life.
Palmar hyperhidrosis affects every aspect of one’s life. People become constantly aware of this problem and try to hide it from others. Affected people cannot control their hand sweating, which can also be aggravated by emotional distress. Many patients feel a tingling sensation and think their skin pores are opening prior to the onset of sweating. These individuals may experience some or all of the following:
Constantly trying to wipe their hands
Avoid shaking hands
Have difficulty with typing, writing, and handling papers
Difficulty putting on make-up and wearing clothing
Uncomfortable initiating intimate relationships and socially withdrawn
Preoccupied, anxious, and have poor concentration
Difficulty handling money or playing musical instruments
Difficulty with getting a manicure
A firm solid handshake often makes an important first impression. For those who suffer from palmar hyperhidrosis, that first handshake can be a dreaded event leading to avoidance of many potentially beneficial professional and social encounters. Many people may interpret a cold, wet, clammy handshake as a sign of insecurity, which in a job interview can translate, to a lack of self-confidence. Consequently this can hinder success and achievement in the professional, academic and social life of the affected individuals. Some individuals hide their hands under their arms, behind their back or under their thighs to avoid embracement.
Much of what makes us who we are is how others perceive us and importantly how we perceive ourselves. People with excessive sweating constantly struggle with this problem throughout their lives. Anxiety can accumulate when one fears embarrassment from excessive sweating or facial blushing. Ultimately one's career choices and relationships can suffer because of a condition one has little if any control over.
Many forms of treatment are available for excessive sweating. The mild forms of palmar hyperhidrosis responds well to medical treatment including oral medications, Iontophoresis and topical antiperspirants. Minimally invasive surgical treatment of palmer hyperhidrosis is reserved for severe or refractory forms of this condition.