Posted in Lifestyle on April 5, 2009

girl-licking-handResearchers believe that people with palmar hyperhidrosis otherwise known as sweaty palms produce too much of a specific neurotransmitter in the nervous system, or have sweat glands that overreact to normal levels of chemical.  This in turn results in profuse sweating that can leave a persons hand perpetually drenched.  Treatments for this go from antiperspirants to surgical treatments.

Ointments and antiperspirants

Doctors generally recommend ointments or antiperspirants such as Drysol® to treat light to moderate hyperhidrosis.  The general recommendation is to apply it to problem areas only at bedtime and only after drying the skin completely.  The ointment is somewhat irritating and since it will stain clothing so it needs to be washed off in the morning with plain water to reduce chances of skin irritation.  This treatment should be done nightly until there is an improvement in the sweating.  Once improvement is accomplished, only once or twice weekly is needed to maintain its effect.  Don’t forget to skip the use of regular deodorants after each treatment.

Oral Medication

Since neorotransmitters are what causes the sweat glands to go into overdrive.  Oral Anticholinergic Medications are often prescribed to prevent the release of such neorotrasmitters.  Robinul® is frequently recommended to take once per day.  Keep in mind that like any medication out there, it does have its list of side effects including blurred vission, uninary retention, dry mouth and palpitations.

Electrical Stimulation

Iontopheresis consists of electrical stimulation to the affected area with devices such as Drionic®.  This procedure is done via a device that be be quite time-consuming and expensive.  In this case, the hands are submerged in water and electricity is emitted to it.  This process has to be done for half hour every night and it is reported that results can be seen in six weeks or less.


Injection of Botox® may produce short-term improvements.  When a small amount of Botox® is injected into the palm, it can stop it from getting clammy and sweaty.  These injections are temporary and need to be repeated two to three times a year.  Keep in mind that Botox® is a diluted form of a potent bacterial toxin, Botulinum toxin type A and is available by prescription only. Botox® injections are also generally considered ineffective when dealing with sever cases of sweaty palms.

Surgical Treatment

Known as the only long-lasting treatment for sweaty palms, the procedure known as Endoscopic Thoracoscopic Sympathectomy (ETS) can stop the transmission of the sympathetic nerve impulse to sweat glands.  This operation is an outpatient procedure that requires the patient go under general anesthesia and should only be ferofmed by an experienced thoracic surgeon.