Fit to Post Health

Sweaty palms and feet: Coping Tips

Sweaty PalmsSweaty Palms (Think Stock- HealthXchange)
Sweat glands act as the body's natural thermostat. When they suddenly go into overdrive, you get sweaty palms and feet. While this can be socially embarrassing, the good news is that excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, can be controlled with treatment.

"Many reasons cause body temperature to rise suddenly — hot, humid weather, rigorous exercise, emotional stress, a panic attack. Even spicy foods can cause excessive sweating," says Dr Ernest Wang, senior consultant, Department of Neurosurgery, National Neuroscience Institute (NNI).

Excessive sweating can result in sweaty palms (palmar hyperhidrosis), sweaty feet (plantar hyperhidrosis) or sweaty armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis).

Even caffeine can cause excessive sweating
The human body has two to five million eccrine sweat glands covering most of the skin. They automatically release fluid onto the skin surface when the body temperature rises. When the perspiration evaporates, the body cools down.

Specialised apocrine sweat glands are responsible for excessive sweating under the armpits. Besides hot, humid weather, stress and anxiety, there are other triggers for sweaty palms and feet:

  • Caffeinated drinks and alcohol
  • Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
  • Medicinal drugs (such as certain painkillers, cardiovascular drugs and antidepressants)
  • Menopause
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Related article: Hyperthyroidism: Causes and symptoms

How to treat sweaty palms and feet?
Over-the-counter scented antiperspirants can help to mask the unpleasant odour of sweat and reduce excessive perspiration for a day or two.
For longer relief, look for stronger antiperspirants containing aluminium chloride.

Some dermatologists in Singapore treat sweaty palms and armpits with Botox (Botulinum toxin) injections, but results only last about four to six months. Other dermatologists use iontophoresis, which is the use of a low electric current to stop the sweat glands. It also brings temporary relief.

For severe hyperhidrosis, doctors may recommend a surgical procedure known as endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy. This surgery is the only way to stop hyperhidrosis permanently.

"Done under general anaesthesia, the operation involves cutting the sympathetic nerves that control the sweat glands through a tiny incision in the armpit. Patients can usually resume their normal activity within a few days," says Wang.

Related Q&A: Doctor Q&A on sweaty palms and armpits

Tips on coping with sweaty palms and feet
If you are constantly plagued by sweaty palms and feet or armpits, you can take the following steps:

  • Apply antiperspirants on your palms and feet before going to bed.
  • Avoid caffeine and spicy foods which may trigger the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Shower daily, but avoid saunas and hot showers to prevent body temperatures from rising too rapidly.
  • Keep your feet dry after a bath or shower to prevent the growth of micro-organisms. Foot odour is caused by bacterial growth.
  • Go barefoot to air your feet.
  • Let your shoes dry out first before you wear them. Always ensure your feet are dry before you put on your shoes.
  • Wear loose-fitting cotton socks and clothing made of natural materials. They absorb moisture better and allow your feet and skin to breathe.
  • Use relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing to control the stress that can trigger sweaty palms.

Related video: How to lower your stress through slow breathing

"Don't let excessive sweating be an obstacle to having a normal social life. Know what can cause excessive sweating and try to control these triggers. Finally, don't hesitate to seek medical help," says Wang.

This article was written by Teresa Cheong for Health Xchange, with expert input from the Department of Neurosurgery, National Neuroscience Institute.

Find more health-related tips and articles on
HealthXchange.com.sg, Singapore's trusted health and lifestyle portal. Health Xchange's articles are meant for informational purposes only and cannot replace professional surgical, medical or health advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesian executions: key questions and answers
    Indonesian executions: key questions and answers

    Indonesia is set soon to execute eight foreigners convicted of drug offences, despite international outrage and desperate appeals for mercy from relatives. Authorities on Saturday gave formal notice to the eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- that they would face a firing squad imminently. If the executions go ahead, the seven men and one woman will be led to a clearing on a prison island to be shot by police marksmen -- after authorities have placed a black mark on …

  • Pagasa: Drought may worsen
    Pagasa: Drought may worsen

    The drought in 12 already dry areas in the country is expected to worsen as the summer season peaks next month, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned yesterday. In an advisory, PAGASA said the provinces of Albay, Bataan, Batangas, Biliran, Cavite, Cebu, Ilocos Norte, Leyte, Misamis Occidental, Pampanga, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur will continue to receive “way below” or “below normal” rainfall in May. PAGASA defines …

  • Maximum restraint for Phl troops in West Phl Sea
    Maximum restraint for Phl troops in West Phl Sea

    The military has advised its pilots conducting surveillance in the West Philippine Sea to exercise maximum restraint even if they are being bullied by Chinese troops. Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said all actions of the pilots should be consistent with the declaration of conduct signed by claimant countries. Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said the Philippines should remain on moral high ground when it comes to the territorial dispute. A …

  • MMDA simulates rescue march after quake, tsunami
    MMDA simulates rescue march after quake, tsunami

    The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday led the annual rescue march from Quezon City to Manila, giving rescue volunteers a glimpse of possible scenarios if the metropolis is hit by a strong quake or is inundated by a tsunami. Cora Jimenez, MMDA general manager, said 700 volunteer rescuers walked from the Quezon City memorial circle to the Bonifacio monument in front of the Manila city hall to simulate a response-exercise to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. Renato Solidum, …

  • Islamic State threatens Mindanao, Phl tells Asean
    Islamic State threatens Mindanao, Phl tells Asean

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario bared yesterday before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reports of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threat to the Philippines through the Black Flag Movement in Mindanao. Speaking before ASEAN foreign ministers, Del Rosario said the ISIS threat to Philippine security is real rather than imagined because of the Black Flag Movement’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. …

  • ‘Chinese reclamation affecting Phl’s energy security bid’
    ‘Chinese reclamation affecting Phl’s energy security bid’

    China’s occupation and buildup of its military structures in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea is causing the country’s top energy official to get the jitters as the encroachment is seen as a huge dent on the Philippines’ efforts to achieve energy security. “It is a concern but if we don’t bring it to the United Nations, where will we bring it? We cannot bang heads with them,” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla told The STAR in an interview over the weekend. The US Energy …

  • Phl to Asean: China getting de facto control
    Phl to Asean: China getting de facto control

    The Philippines yesterday urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to unite and stop China’s massive reclamation in disputed waters as it will give China “de facto control” over the area and cause $100 million in marine wealth losses annually. At the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting here, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told his counterparts that the situation in West Philippine Sea had worsened just a year after the Philippines began to draw international …

  • Gov’t spends P11.8 M for Noy’s Asean trip
    Gov’t spends P11.8 M for Noy’s Asean trip

    The government has allotted about P11.8 million for President Aquino’s attendance at the 26th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia from April 26 to 28. “President Aquino’s participation to the 26th ASEAN Summit is important as the region gears toward the creation of an ASEAN community, which is envisioned to provide new opportunities for the peoples of this region, including the Philippines,” Ochoa said in a statement. He was with …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options