Dear Dr. Fisch: I am a 28-year-old female who has been struggling with excessive hand sweating for several years. It started on my hands and feet, but now it has spread to my armpits. It is very embarrassing when I have to shake hands or hug people because the sweat from my body makes them feel clammy and wet. In addition, if I use an ungloved hand to perform mundane tasks such as opening doors, typing at work or paying bills, the skin of my fingers becomes so swollen that they hurt! No matter what deodorant or antiperspirant I use (or how dry the air in which I live), this problem persists year after year without solution.
The doctor replied: As you can see, your case is indeed unusual; however, our goal here is not just about treating your symptoms but also helping you understand why they occur in order to help prevent recurrences in the future by preventing underlying factors that may cause them in the first place (elevated cortisol levels).