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Why Do My Palms Always Feel Sweaty?

I am 16. I have noticed that my hands sweat and they always have a film on them. It has really affected my social life and limits my relationship with my girlfriend — she understands, but I really would like to hold her hand! I do not sweat on my body anywhere else but my palms. Why does it do that when it didn't before?
William*

The best way to find out what is causing this is to talk to a doctor who can examine you.

Most people who get sweaty palms a lot don't have a health problem. But there is a medical condition called hyperhidrosis (pronounced: hye-per-hye-droe-sis) that can cause a person's palms, feet, armpits, and other parts of the body to sweat heavily.

Hyperhidrosis usually begins around puberty. If a person has hyperhidrosis, a number of things can trigger the sweating, including alcohol, certain drugs, hormones, spicy foods, stress, and diseases like diabetes.

The good news about hyperhidrosis is that doctors have several different options for treating it. These include prescription solutions that a person applies to the skin and in-office electrical treatments. If you can, make an appointment to see your doctor and talk about what's happening. Or let your doctor know what's going on the next time you have a regular checkup.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: August 2011

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