How to Treat Sweaty Hands

Three Parts:Quick RemediesLifestyle SolutionsMedical Treatments

Excessive sweating on the palms, or palmoplantar hyperhidrosis, often begins around age 11 and continues throughout life. Sweaty hands can be embarrassing and interfere with some activities, but the good news is that regular attention to the matter in combination with medical treatments can help curb the moisture. Learn about quick fixes and long-term solutions for treating sweaty hands.

Part 1
Quick Remedies

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    Wash your hands. Sweaty hands don't dry up on their own, so you'll have to wash them more often than most people do in order to keep them dry. Wash them when the amount of sweat starts to bother you, then thoroughly dry them off with a towel or washcloth.
    • When you aren't washing up for dinner or after using the bathroom, it's fine to use plain water, rather than soapy water, to wash your hands. This way you'll avoid drying out the skin on the back side of your hands from using too much soap.
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    • Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer (not antibacterial) for the times when you can't get to a sink to wash your hands. A squirt of alcohol works to temporarily dry up the sweat.
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    • Carry a cloth or a package of paper towels so you can wipe off your hands when you need to. Use them before situations when you'll be shaking hands with someone.
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    Cool off your hands. Many people get sweaty hands when their bodies are slightly overheated, so cooling them off can be a quick and effective remedy. Hold your hands in front of a fan or air conditioner to dry the moisture and slow down the production of sweat.
    • To cool your hands down quickly when you aren't at home, find a bathroom and run them under cold water, then dry them thoroughly with a paper towel.
    • Avoid getting too hot in the first place, if possible. Don't use a heater unless it's absolutely necessary, and turn down the thermostat in your room.
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    Sprinkle some powder on your hands. If you're at home and don't mind your hands looking a little white, sprinkle them with a powder to temporarily absorb the sweat. This can come in handy if your sweaty hands inhibit daily activities like lifting weights, jumping rope or complete chores that require a tight grip. Try the following types of powder:
    • Baby powder, either scented or unscented.
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    • Baking soda or corn starch.
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Part 2
Lifestyle Solutions

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    Don't use items that cause more sweating to occur. Keeping your hands free of articles of clothing and products that inhibit air flow will cause your hands to stay moist, rather than naturally getting the chance to dry. Avoid the following items whenever possible:
    • Gloves, mittens and other items that cover your hands. Wear them when it's freezing outside, of course, but avoid wearing gloves indoors or in situations where they aren't necessary. Gloves are effective if you want to hide the sweatiness of your hands, but they'll keep your hands so warm that they'll sweat more than usual.
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    • Petroleum-based lotions and other skin products. Petroleum jelly is used by people with dry skin to seal in moisture, and it has the same effect on sweaty skin. Petroleum jelly can prevent your sweat from drying and cause your hands to become greasy. The same goes for coconut oil and other cosmetic oils used to hold moisture against skin.
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    Start using an antiperspirant. You may not think to use an antiperspirant on your hands, since they are usually used in the underarm area, but the same chemicals that prevent your armpits from sweating excessively can help your hands, too.[1]
    • Choose an unscented "clinical strength" antiperspirant containing aluminum zirconium, which many find to be effective.
    • Prescription-strength antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride hexahydrate, a stronger antiperspirant chemical, are also available; talk to your doctor.
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    Stay relaxed. Excessive perspiration is often triggered by anxiety and stress. Practice meditation, yoga or another activity that will help reduce your stress and prevent your sweat glands from going into overdrive.[2]
    • If you get sweaty while thinking of a certain problem that's bothering you, think through a solution and tackle it head-on. If you need help, consider talking to a counselor.
    • For a quick solution to anxiety-related sweating, have a seat, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Try to calm your mind before going about your day.

Part 3
Medical Treatments

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    Look into iontophoresis. This procedure involves using water to send an electrical current under the skin, which temporarily prevents sweating from occurring.[3]
    • During iontophoresis, the hands are submerged in water while an electrical current is sent through the water. A tingling sensation may be felt, but the procedure is painless.
    • Iontophoresis kits are available for home use. Talk to your doctor about purchasing one so you can use it any time.
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    Take an oral medication. Oral medicines known as anticholinergics stop sweating as a side effect, so doctors sometimes prescribe them to treat excessive sweating in the hands.[4]
    • This might be a good choice if you aren't an athlete, but if you're an active person, it can be dangerous to interfere with your body's production of sweat, which functions to cool the body when it becomes heated from exercise.
    • Anticholinergics can also cause dry mouth and other side effects.[5]
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    Research botulinum toxin injections. Botox injections, which are often used to smooth wrinkles in the face or plump up the lips, can also be used to block the nerves that produce sweat.[6] However, injections can be painful, and they only stop excessive sweating temporarily.
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    Consider getting a sympathectomy. This procedure involves surgically removing a nerve from inside the chest, permanently disrupting the nerve signal that controls the body's sweating.[7]
    • This surgery should be considered only as a last resort, since in half of the cases the body compensates by overproducing sweat in a different area. The sweating in your hands might go away, but you may experience increased sweating on your back or in another area.[8]
    • If you wish to undergo this procedure, find a doctor who has done it before. Don't risk getting such a risky procedure done by someone unfamiliar with the process.[9]


  • Unless your sweaty hands impede your daily activities or social life, try not to let them bother you too much. It's an issue many people deal with, and shouldn't be a source of embarrassment.
  • Try some anti moisturising creams and wipe your hands with a clean and dry towels.
  • Staying calm plays a big part if you have anxiety so staying calm or thinking of something that keeps you distracted or happy can help with the sweaty palms.
  • A simple way is to use talcum powder.
  • Bring cotton balls with you, so you can wipe your hands off when needed. You can also bring a handkerchief, as that is easily stuffed into your pocket.

Article Info

Categories: Hand and Foot Care | Sweating and Body Odor Hygiene