Palmar hyperhidrosis is not a serious life-threatening health condition but there is a lot of discomfort associated with it. Read this article to develop a better understanding about this problem.
In simple words, palmar hyperhidrosis can be described as a condition that causes excessive sweating of the palms. It is triggered without any stimuli like high temperature, stress, nervousness, or physically strenuous activity. The hands turn sweaty as excess amount of sweat is released by the underlying sweat glands for no definite reason.
The release of sweat from the sweat glands are under the control of the sympathetic nervous system. If the sympathetic nervous system becomes overactive, then it causes overproduction of sweat which makes the palms sweaty. The exact cause behind abnormal functioning of the sympathetic nervous system is not clearly known but it has been found to be hereditary.
The typical characteristic of palmar hyperhidrosis is that the palms remain wet and clammy all the time whether you are working, sitting, or sleeping. The symptoms are there since childhood but they become worse as you grow old. When the symptoms are mild, you just get sweat beads on the palms repeatedly. As a result, the palm is cold and moist to touch. In more serious cases, sweat drips down the hand.
The skin of the palms soaked in sweat often get discolored and appear pinkish. This kind of skin discoloration is caused by sodium and other minerals present in the sweat in a dissolved state. Palmar hyperhidrosis may not have any serious impact on your physical health but it affects you emotionally This is an embarrassing problem in a social situation and you hesitate to shake hands or make physical contact with others. It is very difficult to carry out simple task like driving or writing or even gripping objects.
The main aim of the treatment is to control sweating of the palms. There are several treatment options available for this. When the symptoms are mild, then topical application of antiperspirant products are highly recommended. Medicated powder and ointments are also used for curing the disease. If this topical treatment does not show good results, then doctors prescribe oral medicines. Anticholinergic drugs reduce the effect of palmar hyperhidrosis to a great extent. The main drawback of these medicines is that they cannot be taken for a long time because of their side effects.
An effective treatment for sweaty palms is water iontophoresis. During this treatment, the palms are exposed to electric current of low intensity which has been passed through an electrolyte solution. This has a relaxing effect on the sweat glands which in turn prevents overproduction of sweat. You may require several sessions of this treatment before you see some improvement in the condition.
An alternative form of treatment is acupuncture. This is a traditional Chinese treatment where needles are inserted into certain points on the palm and the pressure thus exerted regulates the sweat production mechanism in the body.
In some rare and severe cases, where the palms sweat profusely and normal activities of the patient get affected by it, then doctors opt for surgery. Palmar hyperhidrosis surgery is commonly known as thoracic sympathectomy surgery. During the surgery, the sympathetic nerves of the hands are either clipped or removed completely. Thus it provides a permanent solution to the problem of sweating in the palms. However, there are some side effects of this surgery. Therefore, doctors only avail the surgical option when other methods of treatment fail to cure the problem.
Palmar hyperhidrosis is a frustrating problem as many of the treatment options that we have discussed in this article may not work for you. Others may give you only a temporary solution. Therefore, you have to learn to live with the problem. You can make some changes in your diet and lifestyle to minimize sweating. Stay away from junk food, alcohol, processed food, caffeine, etc. as these substances make you sweat a lot. Many people feel stressed out and lose confidence because of this disorder. They must learn relaxation techniques to keep the mind relaxed and stress free as anxiety can trigger severe sweating.