Palmar Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatment Options

Palmar Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatment Options

Tue, 13 Feb 2024

Palmar hyperhidrosis, a condition characterized by excessive sweating of the palms, can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem for those who suffer from it. Can you imagine having sweaty palms, greeting someone, or holding your phone or even a pen?

Although harmless, several patients who struggle with palmar hyperhidrosis often prefer getting timely treatment to manage the symptoms for a better outcome in the long run and not to make social situations awkward. Contact Dr Arvind Kumar to get the expert advice. 

This guide will explore all you need about palmar hyperhidoptions available for you.

Palmar hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating of the hands. This is a physiologic condition caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system. It occurs in about 1% of the population and may be hereditary. Hyperhidrosis can be very embarrassing and debilitating. Learn more about its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. 

What causes Palmar Hyperhidrosis?

Palmar hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by overactive sweat glands in the palms of the hands. The exact cause behind this condition is unknown, but a few different factors contribute to its development.

Following are a few of them:

  • Genetic predisposition – If someone in your family has this condition, then there is an elevated risk of you developing the condition as well.
  • Overactive nervous system - An overactive sympathetic nervous system, which controls sweating, can lead to excessive perspiration in the palms.
  • Emotional triggers - Stress, anxiety, and nervousness can exacerbate the symptoms of palmar hyperhidrosis.
  • Certain medical conditions – A few chronic medical conditions like diabetes and hyperthyroidism are also potential factors that can contribute to the onset of palmar hyperhidrosis.

What are the Symptoms of Palmar Hyperhidrosis?

Now that you clearly understand the potential causes, let us shift our focus to the symptoms. The most common symptom of this condition is excessive sweating in the palms.

Besides that, a few additional symptoms include:

  • Social embarrassment
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills
  • Skin issues
  • Psychological distress

The patients have sweaty hands, often cold and may even be dripping with sweat. It has significant social and psychological impact, forcing the patients to hide their hands in their pockets or under their arms and avoid social contact. The students face serious problems in examinations as their copies get wet. There may be problems in the job also. Overall, it decreases the self-confidence of the patients, who are constantly under pressure to hide this problem.

 When meeting clients, colleagues and other professionals, patients with Palmar hyperhidrosis face extraordinarily difficult tasks of how to make their hands dry. Often, the hand shake is avoided. When writing on paper, they need to keep a napkin underneath their hand to protect whatever they are writing on.

How is Palmar Hyperhidrosis Treated?

Fortunately, various non-surgical treatment options are available for individuals with palmar hyperhidrosis. The main objective of these treatments is to manage and alleviate the symptoms so the patient can have an improved quality of life.

Some of the most effective treatment options include:

Topical Antiperspirants

One of the most common and direct ways of treating this condition is by applying over-the-counter or prescription-strength antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride. These ointments function by blocking the sweat glands temporarily, thereby reducing sweating.


The next effective treatment for palmar hyperhidrosis is Iontophoresis, which is a non-invasive medical procedure. In this, the patient is asked to dip their palms in a shallow tray of water. A low-intensity electrical impulse is passed through the water, effectively reducing sweat production in the palms. The patients have to undergo frequent sessions for sustained results.

Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Injections

Although not quite common, the use of Botox injections is effective in treating this condition. The injected botox blocks the signals that stimulate sweat production. The results from this treatment are usually temporary and can last up to 6 months.


In some cases, patients are prescribed anticholinergic drugs to reduce the sweating in their palms. However, these medications aren’t for everyone since they have many side effects. Hence, assessing the compatibility of the prescribed drugs with the patient’s overall well-being is a must.

Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS)

This surgical procedure involves cutting or clamping the sympathetic nerves responsible for sweat production in the palms. It has pretty effective results, but the list of consequences and potential risks associated with the treatment makes it unfit for several patients.

There is no medical cure for this condition. Although numerous medications are available in the market, they at best help only the mildest forms of the disease. Removal of controlling nerves (ganglion) in the neck can cure Palmar Hyperhidrosis immediately. It had not gained much popularity till recently because of the need for Thoracotomy to be able to do removal of ganglion (cervical sympathectomy).


Palmar hyperhidrosis can lead to various consequences affecting one’s quality of life. If you are embarrassed about being in social situations due to the condition and want to overcome the challenges, the list of available treatments in this guide is worth considering.

However, getting a comprehensive evaluation with an experienced specialist like Dr. Arvind Kumar is advised before you consider any treatment. For more details, kindly contact us.