HomeHealthWhat Causes Clammy Hands? 7 Reasons & How To Stop It

What Causes Clammy Hands? 7 Reasons & How To Stop It

This post was originally published in March 2019. Updated in January 2023.

A lot of people have sweaty hands and they just do not why or how to treat it. Some possible factors like Hyperhidrosis cause clammy hands.

Clammy hands can be extremely embarrassing and irritating, it makes you feel uncomfortable especially when it comes to handshakes and high-fives.

Or when you ruin your paperwork or hold your partner’s hand, super inconvenient!

So you should know the cause of your clammy hands and the available methods that help get sweating under control. To find the best treatment, you should first understand what causes clammy hands.

Let’s get started…

What Causes Clammy Hands? 7 Reasons & How To Stop It

What Causes Clammy Hands?

Researchers don’t know the exact cause of excessive sweating in palms and feet or why it starts. Some doctors think the hyperactive sympathetic nervous system causes clammy hands.

Also, emotions and some underlying medical conditions trigger your hands’ sweat glands.

Here are some factors that could be the reason for your clammy hands:

1- Hyperhidrosis

This condition causes excessive, uncontrollable sweating of the hands. Some patients’ hands sweat excessively, and even the sweat drips on the floor. It’s a frustrating and irritating problem.

People with hyperhidrosis have overactive sweat glands so their hands can sweat at cold temperatures. This condition affects also other body areas like the feet, head, face, and armpits.

A study showed that 30-50% of patients have a family history of this condition.

People with hyperhidrosis experience symptoms including:

  • Patients start to sweat excessively when they’re younger than 25 years old.
  • Excessive sweating lasts for more than six months.
  • No sweating at night or while sleeping.
  • Sweating occurs in the hands, feet, face, and axilla.
  • Episodes of sweating last for a week.
  • This condition has nothing to do with temperature. Hyperhidrosis sufferers sweat at any temperature whether it’s cold or hot.
  • It has a negative impact on the patient’s social life

You should see your doctor for a proper diagnosis if you experience these symptoms.

A woman's hand that drips sweat on the floor

2- Genes

Genes can be the reason why your hands and feet sweat. Usually, this problem runs in families. So you and your siblings could inherit this condition from your parents or grandparents.

3- Stress

Stress and anxiety are the main reason for causing sweaty palms.

Those feelings trigger a fight-or-flight response in your body. When you sense a threat, a fight-or-flight response is activated. This response helps you deal with what makes you stressed.

It raises the temperature of your body so, your body will sweat including your hands to regulate your temperature and help you feel better.

A man is typing on a computer keyboard

4- Extremely Hot Environment

Your body sweats when it’s too hot to regulate your temperature. This means staying in a hot room or place can cause sweating all over your body. And of course, your hands will also start to sweat and become clammy.

So, if you live in a country that is hot most of the year, this will make your hands sweat excessively all the time!

5- Unhealthy Diet

Eating a healthy balanced diet can help you avoid many health problems. So this means your poor diet can impact your sweating.

Plus, there are certain foods that make you sweat if you eat them while others help you reduce sweating.

Food and beverages you should avoid including:

  • Alcohol.
  • Caffeine.
  • Spicy Food.
  • Fried food.
  • Garlic and Onion.
  • Processed food.

Eating those foods raises your body temperature and increases your heart rate. When this happens, your body starts to sweat to get rid of the extra heat.

Also, smoking can stimulate sweat glands. When nicotine enters the body, it raises your heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. This triggers sweat glands and causes clammy hands.

When you quit smoking, nicotine withdrawal can also cause excessive sweating. But don’t worry this will disappear eventually.

So it’s highly recommended to eat more vegetables and fruits that have high water content. And drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body.

A cup of coffee, a note, and a pen

6- Underlying Health Problems

There are some health problems that can cause hormonal imbalances. These health problems cause your hands and body to sweat.

Also, excessive sweating can be a symptom of an underlying problem such as:

Women during perimenopause and menopause experience waves of intense heat which is accompanied by sweating. Hormonal imbalances are responsible for causing those hot flashes that increase sweating.

Related: What Are The Signs Of Perimenopause & How To Deal With It

Also, clammy hands could be a sign of a heart attack. If you experience other symptoms associated with clammy hands, you should seek immediate help. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and pain in the arms and back.

7- COVID-19

What causes clammy hands could also be COVID-19. Night sweats and sweaty hands are known symptoms of COVID-19. This may happen due to having a fever or infection.

You may also experience:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Chest pain.
  • Pale or blue skin.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Losing consciousness.
  • Difficulty urinating.

Consult a healthcare provider right away if you notice those symptoms.

How To Stop Sweaty Clammy Hands?

1- Antiperspirants

The first remedy to stop sweat is to use antiperspirants. Use the one that you apply under your arms, you’re going to get the same effect. Or you can use antiperspirant lotion or gel that suits your hands.

Antiperspirant is super affordable and one of the most effective remedies you can use. It shrinks your sweat pores which would help people with sweaty hands.

So what to use? You can use a regular-strength antiperspirant. If it doesn’t work, switch to a clinical-strength antiperspirant.

Apply antiperspirant at night to give time to your hands to absorb it well. Also, the trick is to find the best time to use it as antiperspirants should be applied to dry hands. Applying it to sweaty hands won’t keep your hands dry.

2- Wash Your Hands

What Causes Clammy Hands? 7 Reasons & How To Stop It

You should wash your hands frequently to keep them dry. When your hands start to sweat heavily, wash them with water and soap. Then, use a towel or washcloth to dry them off.

Soap can help you get rid of your hands’ natural oils and keep them dry. But overusing harsh soaps that contain detergent may leave hands too dry. So if your skin becomes dry, start using a moisturizing soap.

3- Alcohol Wipes Or Handkerchiefs

Wipes are wet but they help keep your hands temporarily dry. Alcohol is an astringent that evaporates quickly taking sweat and clamminess with it.

Handkerchiefs and paper towels soak up moisture throughout the day and reduce clamminess.

Both of paper towels and alcohol wipes are super useful and helpful for mild cases of clammy hands.

4- Reduce Stress Levels

A woman sitting on the grass in front of a lake and meditating

Stress can worsen any health condition. When you are stressed, your body temperature rises and your hands start to sweat. So controlling your stress levels can really help you reduce sweating.

Here are some techniques that will help you deal with stress:

  • Meditation.
  • Yoga.
  • Getting more sleep.
  • Managing your time.
  • Breathing exercises.
  • Spending more time with your family and friends.

5- Sage Leaves

Sage contains tannic acid which is a natural astringent. So adding it to your food or drinking sage tea can help reduce sweating.

Also, you can carry dried sage leaves in your pocket and put your hands around them to absorb clamminess when your hands start to sweat.

To Use It:

Add about 5 sage tea bags to a quart of boiling water. when it’s cool enough to touch, soak your hands in the mixture for about 30 minutes.

6- Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV can help you control sweating due to the high acidity levels in it. Apple cider vinegar can restore the skin’s PH balance and keep your hands dry.

To try this method, wipe your hands with ACV daily before going to bed. You may also consider adding ACV to your diet as it has some beneficial effects on your health. Add one tablespoon of ACV to a cup of water or fresh juice.

But keep in mind that ACV has some possible side effects that can damage your health if you consume excessive amounts of it daily. I wrote a post about Apple Cider Vinegar’s possible side effects, check it out: All You Need To Know About Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

7- Diet

The best treatment for any health problem is a healthy balanced diet.

What to eat? Add to your diet more vegetables and fruits that have high water content. Here is some food that can help:

  • Watermelon and strawberries.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Blueberries and apples.
  • Calcium-rich food.
  • Olive oil.
  • Plums and oranges.
  • Lettuce.

Also, drink enough water to keep your body hydrated. And add nuts, protein, and whole grains to your diet.

You should consult a doctor if these remedies don’t reduce sweating. If you think you have Palmer Hyperhidrosis, you should see a doctor to help you understand your condition better.

When To See A Doctor?

What Causes Clammy Hands? 7 Reasons & How To Stop It

If the problem persists after trying out the remedies, you should consult a doctor.

Your doctor will examine your palms and ask you some questions about your medical history, activities, and diet. He/she may also order blood tests.

You can also ask your doctor about the home remedies that you wanna try and whether it works for you or not.

If what’s causing clammy hands is a heart problem, you’ll need immediate help.

If Hot flashes during perimenopause cause your hands to sweat, your doctor will discuss treatment plans with you. Also, your doctor will prescribe hormone replacement therapy if you experience hormonal imbalances from menopause.

You should also seek immediate help if you experience excessive sweating accompanied by other symptoms like swelling, nausea, skin rash, and shortness of breath.

These symptoms could be a sign of a life-threatening allergic reaction. Your doctor will prescribe proper medications to reduce the symptoms of allergic reactions.

If what causes clammy hands is hyperhidrosis, your doctor may recommend iontophoresis or botox injections. He/she may also ask you to make some lifestyle changes so you can control this condition.

Botox Injections

If Palmer Hyperhidrosis is the reason why your hands sweat, there are available treatments Like Botox injections or Iontophoresis.

Botox can treat excessive sweating in small areas like hands and reduce sweating by 85%.

You should get injections every 6 months to stop sweaty hands. It’s totally safe But the procedure may cause pain and temporary weakness in the hands.

Iontophoresis Treatment

Iontophoresis can treat excessive sweating. This treatment uses a medical device to deliver mild electric currents while hands are submerged in water for about half an hour.

You have to repeat the procedure multiple times to get the best results. It blocks pores and decreases sweat by up to 80%.

The current is not strong enough to cause pain. but it might cause dryness of the skin, blistering, and irritation.

What To Avoid

Wool gloves on a brown background
  • Wearing gloves.
  • Greasy lotions.
  • Petroleum-based lotions.
  • Caffeine.
  • Nicotine.
  • Spicy food.
  • Fried food.
  • Alcohol.
  • Processed food.
  • Stress.
  • Garlic and onion.

If your feet are constantly clammy, you should let your feet breathe to prevent bacterial infections. Buy also shoes made from natural materials like leather. Also, remember to change socks multiple times daily if they become wet to avoid odors.

The Bottom Line

Excessive sweating is a common uncomfortable problem that affects millions across the world. What causes clammy hands include; Hyperhidrosis, stress, underlying health conditions, poor diet, hot weather, COVID-19, or genes.

Shaking hands can bring on anxiety if you have clammy hands. It’s a confidence-wrecking problem. Plus, it has a negative impact on patient’s lives and can affect work productivity and personal relationships.

Thankfully, you can follow some self-care tips and home remedies to reduce sweating. But if your condition doesn’t respond to the remedies, you should consult a doctor.


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