Humid hands at handshake? How uncomfortable! That’s it and that’s the best advice against sweaty hands
E an awkward situation: You give a new employer, customers or the father’s hand, the grimaces and wipes his hand after briefly about the pants. A damp handshake can be quite uncomfortable for everyone involved.
But how can one prevent the hands from starting to sweat uncontrollably? Especially if you are afraid of the sweaty hands and therefore sweat even more. A dermatologist has 4 effective tips for us and also explains how doctors can treat the problem.
Why do you get sweaty hands?
Sweating is something normal at first. When the body temperature rises, the body wants to balance that by sweating. Sweat glands sit everywhere on the body, especially under the armpits, on the feet and on the hands. “The distribution and activity of the glands, however, is individual for each and depends on genetic predispositions and lifestyle,” explains the dermatologist. Uwe Kirschne r from Mainz. And some people just have a lot of active sweat glands on their hands, so they sweat more.
When do your hands sweat a lot?
Welding production is driven by a variety of causes. Anything that gets the circulation going, be it physical activity, caffeine or even stress, makes us sweat. Maybe you have noticed that your hands are wetter than usual after drinking a coffee or eating something spicy or being nervous. It may even be that you train your sweat glands, for example through sports. If your body is already accustomed to having to set its temperature down quickly, sweat production will start faster. However, if you have finished your workout or the coffee is a few hours ago, sweating usually ceases soon.
When are sweaty hands no longer “normal”?
However, if you have wet hands all the time, even if it is not warm outside and you were not active, you may have so-called hyperhidrosis . The term refers to an unnaturally strong sweating, which is not caused by external factors. Decisive for the diagnosis is above all the suffering of the affected person. However, there is also an objective threshold: “If a person sweats their hands at least 30 milliliters per minute, we speak of hyperhidrosis,” explains Drs. Kirschner.
The problem can occur as primary and secondary hyperhidrosis. “The primary hyperhidrosis is probably a hereditary disease, because so far you could not find any other trigger,” says the dermatologist. It is assumed that the so-called sympathetic nervous system, that is, which is responsible for all unconscious processes in the body, and its messenger substance acetylcholine are overactive here. These overactive nerves then increase sweat production in certain parts of the body, such as hands or feet.
The secondary hyperhidrosis however, occurs usually all over the body and there for very specific reasons. Obesity, metabolic disorders, illnesses or drugs reduce the general “sweat tolerance” and body cooling then starts faster than in healthy people. Typical of this are infections such as influenza, disorders of the thyroid gland, obesity or medications such as antidepressants. All of them can make sure that the sweat tolerance of the body goes down and you start to sweat faster. “It sometimes goes away after a few weeks, but it can also be a permanent change,” Dr. Kirschner.
What can I do myself against sweaty hands?
It does not matter if you sweat sometimes or sweat permanently with wet hands. Kirschner has 4 tips to help you avoid sweaty hands:
- Fight the Triggers: If you only get sweaty hands in certain situations or if you have secondary hyperhidrosis, you should first address the causes. For example, if you are sensitive to caffeine or spicy food, you should at least avoid it when you have to shake hands with somebody important in the near future. If you are prone to nervousness, you can get used to a relaxation technique. If you sweat more because of overweight or even an illness, you should also tackle this necessarily, because the sweat is often the least problem.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Works Overnight: If You Have Permanently Moist Hands Instead, You Can Try This Home Remedy: Before Sleeping, rub the areas you sweat a lot with with a washcloth soaked in apple cider vinegar. “While the vinegar moves in overnight, it narrows the sweat glands and at the same time fights the bacteria that are responsible for the unpleasant smell of sweat,” explains the dermatologist. In the morning you shower off the apple cider vinegar again.
- Sage helps during the day : “Sage also causes the sweat glands to contract,” Dr. Kirschner. Here’s how it works: You boil a teaspoon of fresh or dried sage (available at the pharmacy) with 250 to 300 milliliters of water. You can simmer for 15 minutes and then cool. Now you can clean your hands with this sage tea several times a day.
- Get an antiperspirant cream: just as there are deodorants with aluminum salts, there are also creams for the hands. The aluminum salt seals the sweat pores thus preventing sweating. “However, such creams can dry out the skin, so you should consult with a doctor, if that is a permanent solution,” Dr. Kirschner. But for an important meeting, it can quickly keep your hands dry.
Which doctor helps with sweat hands?
If the tips do not help and you suffer from your sweaty hands, it’s best to see a dermatologist. Some practices even offer special hyperhidrosis consultations. The doctor will then do the following:
- A conversation about your history (anamnesis): First, see how you live, whether you are healthy, whether you take certain medications, and so on. Often he can then assess where the reason for your problem lies. Is it, for example, due to stress, is there a more serious illness or are the sweat glands just overactive?
- Your sweat production is measured (gravimetry): “The amount of sweat is measured with a so-called gravimetry,” explains the doctor. Absorbent paper is placed on your hand for a minute and weighed before and after. The difference in weight indicates how much you have sweated in the time.
- The problem is treated (therapy): If your hands sweat uncomfortably because of a physical cause, you can now try to fight them. For a psychological cause, a life coach or a psychologist can help reduce your stress and nervousness. On the other hand, if there is a primary hyperhidrosis, you can check with your dermatologist for a therapy against sweating itself.
How to permanently get rid of wet hands?
If these tips are no longer helpful or you want to solve the problem once and for all, there are some therapies that will help in the long term.
- Tablets can reduce sweating: so -called anti-cholinergic drugs, ie drugs against acetylcholine, cause you to sweat less. “Acetylcholine is the messenger substance that communicates between the sweat glands and the nerves.” Kirschner. Talk to a doctor but definitely about the side effects and effectiveness of the medication. “It may be that the drug inhibits sweating, even after you set it down, but it can come back afterwards,” says the expert.
- An electro-water bath over-stimulates the glands: “With so-called iontophoresis, the sweat glands are over-stimulated and dulled with the help of a slight flow of current,” explains Kirschner. Do not worry, it does not hurt, it tingles just a little bit on the skin and helps very effectively against overactive sweat glands. If you do this on a daily basis, it will give you 2 to 3 days rest. The devices cost between 350 and 800 euros, but can under certain conditions be covered by the health insurance.
- Botox blocks the sweat stimuli : If you inject botulinum toxin, Botox, under the skin in the right place, it blocks the nerves that give the impulse to sweat production. “Especially on the hands, this is very painful and the areas must first be anesthetized, then it can come to a feeling of numbness for some time,” warns Kirschner. A treatment for both hands is around 750 euros and usually lasts for 4 to 6 months.
- An OP can block the sympathetic nerve: The sympathetic nerve is the one that passes on the impulses to sweat on the hands and feet. In an operating room, it can be disconnected and sweat reduced permanently. “However, the body sometimes tries to compensate for that by sweating more heavily elsewhere,” warns the dermatologist. This does not always happen, but it is annoying because the surgery is very complex and involves some risks. “In addition, there is no guarantee that you will not sweat afterwards, because most of the time such interventions are the last resort,” warns. Kirschner. If everything goes well, it can solve your problem permanently.
Excessive sweating on the hands is not dangerous but can be extremely annoying or uncomfortable. If you are inclined every now and then, you can pretty easily avoid getting wet hands with our tips. If that does not help, there are some quite elaborate therapies that help in the long term against sweating.