Raise your hand if your palms are perpetually sweaty. Now shake that hand as hard as you can and watch with resigned horror as the drops of moisture go flying all over the place. Without a doubt, you know well the unique pain of living with this confidence-killing affliction. At the end of the day, this seemingly small and embarrassing condition can affect you in so many ways—emotionally, socially, and physically.
Now, sweaty hands typically start becoming a problem around puberty. It eventually goes away for the lucky ones, but there are many who have to live with it their entire lives. Stressful situations are the usual triggers, but you can also be naturally predisposed to sweating excessively, breaking into a sweat even without heat or physical activity. You might even have Palmar Hyperhidrosis, which is a rare medical condition characterized by abnormally increased perspiration of the palms.
Needless to say, there could be a number of reasons why your palms are sweaty, but luckily, there are also many ways to treat the problem.
1) Wash your hands
That’s right, get your hands even wetter. When you wash regularly, you rinse off most of the sweat from your palms before they become too slippery (and slimy!). Just remember to always carry a handkerchief with you to pat your hands dry.
Take note: too much soap will actually dry your skin beyond what’s healthy, so stick to just water when washing unless you’re hands are actually dirty or you’re about to eat. You can also utilize alcohol-based sanitizers as a quick fix, but like soap, you run the risk of damaging your skin when using them excessively.
2) Powder up
Just like how your lady friends break out their compacts when their noses start shining, you can also do with a bit powder on your sweaty hands. The talcum or baby powder will absorb the moisture and even give you a better grip. The only downside is that instead of damp handprints, you’ll leave dusty white ones everywhere.
3) Use antiperspirants
As you can probably guess from it’s name, antiperspirants are designed specifically to counter perspiration by blocking sweat from reaching the surface of the skin. While most of us use this grooming product exclusively for our underarms, it actually works pretty much everywhere. Ergo, it’s an effective way to reduce palm sweat, though results may vary as OTC products might not be enough. Check in with your doctor should you need prescription-strength antiperspirants.
Take note: while the terms deodorant and antiperspirants are often used interchangeably, they’re actually not the same thing. Make sure what you’re using on your hands actually is an antiperspirant, as a simple deodorant will only neutralize your body odor, not your excessive sweating.
4) Deal with your stress
Stress can be a major reason why your hands get so slippery. This is because your palms (and the soles of your feet) contain the highest concentration of eccrine glands out of your entire body. Eccrine glands are major sweat glands that are connected to your sympathetic nervous system, which react to emotional stress. While finding and tackling the source of your stress and anxiety won’t automatically mean the end of your palm sweat problems, it does mean you’ll have an easier time chilling and relaxing.
If, after all these, you still find yourself soaking everything you touch, it might be time to try more advanced treatments. You can look into iontophoresis, a procedure which passes ionized tap water solution through your skin by way of electric current. You can also start using oral medication that can reduce perspiration, such as anticholinergics. For both cases, and for more extreme options, you should head to your friendly neighborhood doctor for advice and treatment.