Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit, the AAFP patient education website.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Sweaty Hands and Feet


Am Fam Physician. 2004 Mar 1;69(5):1121.

Who gets sweaty hands and feet, and why?

The palms of your hands and the soles of your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body. Some people have hands and feet that sweat a lot. This problem is common and can be very embarrassing.

Sweaty hands and feet usually are not caused by a disease. This problem tends to begin in childhood. It often runs in the family. The sweating becomes worse with emotion and stress. It does not happen when you are asleep.

How is this problem treated?

The treatment depends on how much you sweat, how much the sweating interferes with your daily activities, and how well a treatment works for you.

Several treatments are available.

  • An aluminum chloride solution (brand name: Drysol) can be applied to the skin on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet.

  • Another treatment is tap-water iontophoresis. In this treatment, a mild electrical current is passed through water and applied to the skin.

  • People with severe sweating might be treated with injections of botulinum toxin type A (brand name: Botox).

  • If all other treatments do not work, surgery can be done to cut the nerves that cause the sweating.

All of these treatments can have side effects. You and your doctor can decide which treatment is best for you.

This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.


Copyright © 2004 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


May 2022

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article