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What is Palmar Hyperhidrosis?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
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Palmar hyperhidrosis is the medical term used to describe overactive sweat glands in the region of the hands. Sometimes this sweating is caused by nervous energy or fear, and sometimes it can happen randomly without any obvious reason. Palmar hyperhidrosis isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it can cause significant problems for a person’s quality of life by making many social encounters very uncomfortable. It can also hamper some practical daily activities, such as holding objects or lifting things.

The most common complaint of patients with palmar hyperhidrosis is usually embarrassment. They may feel that other people are noticing how sweaty their palms are, and it can cause patients to avoid any kind of social encounter that may require handshaking or touching. Depending on the severity of the disorder and the mindset of the patient, this problem can sometimes be socially crippling and result in severe depression or social anxiety. Other patients may suffer with palmar hyperhidrosis without ever being bothered by it, and they may never seek any kind of treatment for the disorder.

The term hyperhidrosis is used to describe any kind of problem with excessive sweating. Some people have excessive sweating all over their bodies, while others have it only in one area, such as their faces or hands. Palmar hyperhidrosis is one of the more common varieties of this disorder, and it is usually related to inappropriate or overactive nerve signals.

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When trying to treat palmar hyperhidrosis, most patients can use simple home remedies, such as putting powder on their hands or applying standard antiperspirants. There are also some special chemicals available that can limit sweating if they are applied to the skin, and some of these require a prescription. Certain patients can control the symptoms by dealing with any social anxiety issues that may be making them sweat, but most of them will generally have occasional random sweating problems that can’t be controlled.

When the problem is severe enough, doctors might recommend a surgical procedure to cut the nerves that cause sweating. This approach was once a very serious procedure because it involved large incisions in the chest area, and the surgery was often considered too dangerous compared to the severity of the problem. A more modern version of the surgery involves tiny incisions and the insertion of a camera on a tube. This newer approach can sometimes allow patients to go home after one day of recovery. It is generally used more often than the original version because it is often more convenient and less dangerous.

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