Clammy Skin (Hyperhidrosis) | Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

You’ve searched Google for answers about an embarrassing problem. Maybe you’re feeling a bit self-conscious that you sweat too much. The good news is, your search led you to this article, which will give you some answers.

If your underarms make a wet spot on a T-shirt after a short walk, or if your hands sweat so much they slip off a handshake, you may have clammy skin.

You don’t need to feel too bad because apparently, it is a prevalent condition.

Approximately 4.8% of the U.S. population suffers from clammy skin, according to a study published in 2016 entitled “Hyperhidrosis: an update on prevalence and severity in the United States.” That equates to 15.3 million people.

However, only 51 % of respondents brought their excessive sweating to the attention of a healthcare professional because of the belief that hyperhidrosis is not a disease and that there is no treatment.

Here’s what you need to know about clammy skin.

What is Clammy Skin?

Clammy skin is a condition where the sufferer feels and experiences excessive sweating. Frequently, it is so severe that it can be one of the most challenging conditions to manage.  Many sufferers are left frustrated with how it impedes daily life, making quality time with family and friends nearly impossible.

Baffled by their sweating episodes, sufferers spend endless amounts of money on clothing and deodorant, with all their time taken by researching options online.

Clammy skin can indicate a severe emergency. If you, or someone you know, are experiencing symptoms such as bluish coloration of the lips, fingernails, and mucous membranes(cyanosis); chest pain or discomfort; confusion or loss of consciousness, even for a brief moment; seek immediate help.

Why Do People Get Clammy Skin?

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), anxiety, pain, and other conditions you, or someone you know, are experiencing symptoms such as reasons that cause low blood oxygen levels are all common causes of clammy skin. Some of these conditions can be life-threatening.

Occasionally, clammy skin can be a sign of a severe or life-threatening condition that needs to be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Here are some examples.

  • Allergy attack
  • Overdoses of prescription and illicit drugs
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Heat exhaustion
  • An internal or heavy bleeding
  • Hyperhidrosis (sweating that occurs despite a need to cool off)
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood clots in lungs block arteries, causing Pulmonary Embolism

Treatment for Clammy Skin

If you have clammy or sticky skin, treatment depends on what caused it. It is not necessary to treat damp skin that results from sweat or nervousness. Symptoms of an emergency that require immediate medical care, which may include:

  • heart attacks
  • shock
  • heat exhaustion
  • internal bleeding
  • venomous or severe bites

Bacterial infections can cause clammy skin, which is treatable. When you have influenza or mononucleosis, you simply have to wait for the symptoms to pass. However, you can take an over-the-counter medication if necessary. In the case of hyperhidrosis, a doctor may recommend iontophoresis.

No-sweat machines temporarily halt sweat gland function through iontophoresis. If you have hyperhidrosis in the hands or feet, you may want to consider iontophoresis.

Other possible causes of clammy skin may be treatable but require a diagnosis from your doctor. If you’re experiencing sticky skin and you don’t know what caused it, see your doctor.

How to Know if it is Clammy Skin or Something Else

To determine if your skin is clammy, you can use the five senses. Take a look at the skin to ensure there are no rashes or discoloration (redness or dark spots, for example). Consult a doctor as it may be a symptom of a more serious underlying disease.

When Do You Need to See a Doctor?

Slight sweating is normal, but clammy skin indicates the skin is too wet. Excessive sweating causes damp, chilled skin. You can treat clammy skin at home safely. However, if you get the condition and other symptoms like chills, fever, or nausea, or this is your first time getting it, you should consult a doctor.

Furthermore, if this symptom is persistent, you should go to the doctor because there can be another medical problem causing it or dealing with an underlying health condition.


Clammy skin may not be a cause for concern at the beginning. However, you have to be aware of the risk factors involved. It can be infected if caused by some infectious disease, and this is why you have to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.