A certain amount of sweating is normal, even sweating of the hands. Sweaty hands may become a problem when they are sweating enough to be noticeable, and are moist nearly all the time. This is a medical condition known as palmar hyperhidrosis disorder. Millions of people in the United States suffer from some form of hyperhidrosis, and the most common is palmar hyperhidrosis.
Excessive sweating of the hands can have an effect on nearly all aspects of a person's life, including their professional and social life. Several different circumstances can trigger excessive hand sweating, especially stressful situations such as meeting someone for the first time, job interviews, presentations, etc. In severe cases, the sweat will actually be visibly dripping from the hands. Sweating is normal and is the body's safety mechanisms for ensuring that it does not overheat. When someone sweats far more than what is physically necessary to cool the body, they likely suffer from hyperhidrosis.
The symptoms of palmar hyperhidrosis include, frequent perspiration of the hands, and the hands feeling somewhat cold and clammy. Other symptoms of this disorder may include peeling of the skin, or periods of profuse hand sweating that is followed by very dry hands. Palmer hyperhidrosis usually starts about the time a person reaches the age of puberty and continues through to adulthood.
As some researchers believe the disorder may be genetic, if a parent suffers from the condition; a child will also have a chance of developing the problem. There are two types of palmar hyperhidrosis, the first being the primary form. With this type there may be no obvious cause for the disorder, aside from it being inherited from a parent.
Secondary palmar hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the hands that has an underlying cause. Some conditions that can lead to sweating hands include infections, both localized and other types of infections like tuberculosis, and tinea ugunium. Other conditions that can contribute to this problem are frostbite, neurological disorders, hormone imbalance, diabetes, and many other illnesses. Because sweaty hands can be attributed to so many underlying health issues, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you have a problem with profuse sweating of the hands.
When visiting your doctor, he or she will likely ask if there is a history palmar hyperhidrosis in your family, and if the situation merits, the doctor may also want to screen you for certain illnesses. Some symptoms that your healthcare provider will look for is having sweating episodes more than once a week, the severity of the problem, as well as your age at the time the symptoms first started. If there does not seem to be any underlying cause for the hyperhidrosis, your doctor can then address treatment options for the disorder.