Under pressure
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You're on a date and you want to show your special someone affection with a gentle touch or caress; but you've got sweaty, swamp-monster palms. Unfortunately, you'd rather keep your distance than face the embarrassment associated with excessive hand sweat. Individuals who chronically experience unusually sweaty palms may be suffering from a treatable medical condition known as palmar hyperhidrosis. While there are a variety of treatments available for this condition, a number of sufferers prefer to use antiperspirants designed specifically for hand sweating.

Treatment Options

Patients who suffer from severe cases of palmar hyperhidrosis may require extreme treatments. These treatments can range from prescription medications and Botox injections to lontopheresis, which uses electrical currents to switch off the sweat glands, or sympathectomy, a minimally-invasive surgery. The majority of sufferers, however, find that the simplest treatments involve antiperspirants containing 20 to 25 percent AC, an aluminum chloride hexahydrate solution. Although antiperspirants containing AC have a proven track record of effectiveness, use of this chemical solution can lead to symptoms that include redness, stinging, itching, fissuring and pain at the site of application. Patients with sensitive skin may find aluminum-free antiperspirants a more suitable treatment option.

AC Antiperspirant Gel

Individuals who experience significant skin irritation from using AC antiperspirants may seek relief in products that use a gel base. Studies have found that antiperspirants that contain at least 15 percent AC and 2 percent salicylic acid in a gel base are effective in regulating mild to moderate symptoms of palmar hyperhidrosis. In the June 2009 issue of The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, researchers noted that patients who use a salicylic acid gel base antiperspirant tend to experience minimal irritation without diminishing the efficacy of the aluminum chloride hexahidrate.

AC Alcohol-Based Antiperspirants

Non-prescription antiperspirant sprays and wipes typically contain less than 15 percent AC. Unlike antiperspirants that use salicylic acid in a gel base, hand sprays use an anhydrous ethyl alcohol base and are somewhat less effective for moderate to heavy palmar hyperhidrosis symptoms. Alcohol-based antiperspirants are usually applied at night, before going to bed, and washed off in the morning. Although initial applications of the product provide symptom relief, the effects usually diminish over time.

Non-AC Antiperspirants

Not all individuals who experience unusually sweaty palms suffer from palmar hyperhidrosis. Non-prescription topical creams can be used by athletes to combat sweaty palms and feet. These antiperspirants are not an ideal treatment option for individuals who suffer from chronic palmar hyperhidrosis. Usually branded with the word "grip," these antiperspirants are designed to work for several hours at a time and are an appropriate product for athletes and people who tend to experience excessive hand sweating during mild to strenuous activities like weightlifting, bowling or tennis.