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Causes for Sweaty Hands in Children

author image Virginia Franco
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Causes for Sweaty Hands in Children
Handshaking can be embarrassing for the child with excessively sweaty hands.

Children as young as 6 or 7 can have hands that sweat excessively. This symptom can cause discomfort and social embarrassment. Several conditions have symptoms that include sweaty hands, but measures are available to provide relief.

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Also known as sweaty palm syndrome, hyperhidrosis is an inherited disorder that causes excessive hand and foot sweating, according to a 2002 UCLA study that appeared in the February issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery. According to principal investigator Dr. Samuel S. Ahn and his collaborators at the UCLA Department of Human Genetics, as many as 5 percent of the U.S. population might have excessively sweaty hands. Hyperhidrosis treatment for sweaty hands often involves a surgical procedure where doctors cut the sympathetic nerve in the hands. This minimally invasive procedure does not compromise motor skills or hand sensation, according to Ahn, who says the procedure has been 100 percent successful at UCLA.


Sweaty palms are a common reaction to anxiety, and according to, often co-exist with a rapid heartbeat, tense muscles, shaky limbs and a queasy stomach. Caused by an adrenaline rush, these symptoms occur as part of the body’s fight-flight response that occurs instinctively when a person senses threat. While mild or infrequent anxiety might be uncomfortable, frequent and extreme anxiety can be debilitating. If symptoms of anxiety begin to interfere with a child’s inability to function during normal daily tasks, parents should seek professional help. Behavioral therapies have successfully treated anxiety disorders for years.


Commonly called fainting, several harmless factors can cause syncope. Low blood pressure, dehydration, overheating, stress and even a sudden change in body position can temporarily cause a lack of blood flow to the brain, causing the person to faint. Fainting that occurs with exercise, heart palpitations, or a history of family fainting, might be cause for serious concern and require medical attention, according to the American Heart Association. Signs of imminent syncope include sweaty hands, dizziness and nausea. Parents and children can help prevent syncope by drinking plenty of fluids and by watching for the above-mentioned signs of fainting. When these signs are present, children should sit or lie down until the symptoms disappear.

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