The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body. Excessive hand sweating is the most common sweating problem; sweaty hands usually come along with sweaty feet. In severe cases, this can greatly affect one’s social life, work performance and even health. They tend to run in families, and usually begin in early childhood and worsen in the teenage years and early adulthood. The sweaty hands and feet are likely to develop cracking and scaling of the skin, blisters, frostbite, warts and fungal infections. In addition, stress, emotional stimuli, anxiety and certain foods play key roles in the development of the problem.
Conventional Treatment of Sweaty palms and feet
Treatment options of sweaty hands and feet vary according to the intensity and how well the person responds to treatment. There are over-the-counter products or prescription antiperspirants for light to moderate cases. Apply the powder, lotion or cream on the palms or soles, cover with a plastic wrap overnight, and then wash off in the morning. Iontophoresis which uses a mild electrical current to temporarily turn off the sweat gland is also suitable for sweaty hands and feet. Botox injections, although quite painful, are helpful to those who with severe sweating. When all these methods fail, surgery is the last resort. Quiet often, a single method that works for a person may not work for another, so it is better to use a combination of methods.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Sweaty Palms and Feet
According to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the spleen system controls the muscles and the limbs; the four extremities must be nourished by the nutrient essence transformed and transported by the spleen. When the spleen and stomach fail in its transportation and transformation functions, it will lead to abnormal distribution of the body fluids and excessive sweat will arise from the hands and feet.
TCM remedies for sweaty hands or feet are based on particular disharmony patterns that mean besides the intensity of sweaty hands and feet, physicians also notice the subtle symptoms that go with them. In TCM herbal prescriptions, specific herbs like sour jujube seed, shriveled wheat, ephedra root, oyster shell and fossil bone are used to arrest excessive sweating.
Besides that, acupuncture also can be used to treat sweaty palms and feet. Acupuncture therapies for sweaty hands and feet mainly aimed to:
- Resume the normal functions of the spleen and stomach;
- Unblock the localized meridians include the heart, pericardium and kidney meridians.
Last but not least, TCM suggests selecting foods that invigorate the spleen, include lotus root, lotus seed, white fungus, hyacinth bean, bean curd, coix seed, hawthorn fruit and banana. Generally, pungent, spicy and fried foods should be taken in moderation. It is important to maintain a balance between work and rest, exercise daily to help the metabolism and minimizes stress, and drink water to stabilize the body temperature.
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