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Why Do My Palms Always Feel Sweaty?

Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
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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 ask questions and 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-pur-hye-DROE-sis) that can cause a person's palms, feet, armpits, and other parts of the body to sweat heavily.

When a person has hyperhidrosis, it usually begins around puberty. A number of things can trigger the sweating, including alcohol, some medicines, hormones, spicy foods, stress, and conditions like diabetes.

The good news about hyperhidrosis is that doctors have several different options for treating it. 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.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: August 2020