Hyperhydrosis, or Excessive Sweating, is a condition that may be primary or caused by an underlying condition. Primary excessive sweating in the palms can start in adolescence and can be genetic or triggered by stress; the secondary palmar hyperhydrosis can occur at any point in life and may be caused by thyroid problems, diabetes, menopause, tumors, poisoning or certain drugs. Sweaty palms that are not caused by an underlying condition can be treated with several remedies; if the sweaty palms are caused by a medical condition, this should be addressed. Some long term treatment options for sweaty palms include Botox shots, sympathectomy, antiperspirants, topical ointments or medications.
1. Sympathectomy or ETS
Sympathectomy, also known as endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy or ETS, is a surgery that will remove the sympathetic nerves or inhibit their function. Among all treatments, ETS is the only one that can give a permanent solution to this problem.
However, there are a few side effects. ETS may stop the excessive sweating from the palm region, but the sweat can occur in other areas such as the chest.
2. Botox Shots
Botox shots can be administered in the palms area to reduce excessive sweating. The Botox injections combine a serum and botulinum toxin in low amounts. The injections will have a relaxing effect on the muscles and will also inhibit the sweat glands.
The injections are typically administered near the thumb, in the thenar muscle. The shots may be effective for up to 1 year, but in some cases, the sweat may become more abundant after 4 or 5 months only. Some patients have also reported a diminished hand functions, as the botulinum shots will have a relaxing effect on the palmar muscles. A slight loss of grip can be present for a few weeks after the administration of the injections.
Iontophoresis is a treatment option that involves placing the palms in trays that contain water; electrical currents will be transmitted through metal plates in the water trays. This procedure has proved effective even in cases of severe palmar hyperhydrosis; the effects of an iontophoresis treatment last up to 4 weeks. The treatment can be reapplied.
Even though antiperspirants are typically effective for just a few hours, the constant use of them can reduce the excessive sweating, by regularizing the activity of the sweat glands. However, if the palmar hyperhydrosis is severe, antiperspirants may not be effective.
5. Aluminum Chloride
Topical ointments that contain aluminum chloride can be effective in reducing the amount of sweat by inhibiting the sweat glands. Just like the antiperspirants, these topical ointments only offer temporary relief. However, if applied for a longer period of time, the sweating can be reduced.
Ointments that contain aluminum chloride are only available through prescription. The percentage of aluminum chloride in the ointments may vary depending on how severe the condition is and will be between 6% and 20%, rarely higher.