Understanding Clammy Hands: Causes And Treatments

What are Clammy Hands?

Clammy hands are a common condition experienced by many people. The term refers to abnormally wet or excessively sweaty hands. This condition can occur without any physical exertion or high temperatures, both of which are typical reasons for sweating. In medical terms, the condition is often related to ‘Hyperhidrosis.’

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that refers to excessive sweating, not just limited to the hands. This sweating far exceeds what’s necessary to regulate body temperature. It can affect specific areas, such as the palms, soles, underarms, or face, or it could affect the entire body.

Causes of Clammy Hands

Clammy hands and excessive sweating in general often occur due to over-activity in the sweat glands. In many cases, the exact cause is unknown, but it tends to run in families. However, there are various other reasons, such as medical conditions like hyperthyroidism or low blood sugar, psychological factors like anxiety or stress, or certain medicines that may trigger excessive sweating.

In people with clammy hands, the sweat glands overreact to stimuli, producing more sweat than needed. Furthermore, the nervous system can sometimes alter its regular behavior due to stress or anxiety, which can lead to sweating as a physiological response.

Treatments for Clammy Hands

Treating clammy hands often involves addressing the underlying conditions causing excessive sweating. If one’s clammy hands are due to stress or anxiety, treatments may involve cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation methods, or medicated treatments such as anxiolytics. If the sweating is caused by an underlying medical condition, treating that particular condition often solves the problem.

There are also targeted treatments for excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. Topical treatments (like antiperspirants), oral medications, iontophoresis (a treatment where a medical device is used to block the sweat glands temporarily), Botox injections, and microwave therapy can be productive approaches.

In severe cases where conservative measures aren’t helpful, surgery for hyperhidrosis of the hands can be considered. It can range from local procedures that block the nerves leading to sweat glands, to more aggressive surgeries like endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) that interrupts the sympathetic nerves responsible for excessive sweating.


Clammy hands can be a difficult and embarrassing condition to live with, significantly affecting a person’s quality of life. However, with a proper understanding of the situation and possible treatment options, it is truly manageable.

With growing advancements in medicine, various therapies can help alleviate this condition’s symptoms. Whether going for a behavioral approach, medical treatments, or even considering a surgery for hyperhidrosis of the hands in severe cases, one can now look forward to a life less troubled by excessively sweaty hands.