Why do I have red sweaty hands, is this a common hyperhidrosis symptom?

Patients affected with the hyperhidrosis gene can present this with excessive sweating in their hands, feet, and armpits. This may cause unpleasant and uncomfortable situations where their hands are extremely wet. Another characteristic of this is increased hyper-sympathetic activity, which is a narrowing of the blood vessels in the palms of the hands or feet. The narrowing of the blood vessels can cause clammy hands, as well as slow down the blood flow in the fingers due to the narrowed vessels. This reduced speed of blood flow (not the amount of blood flow) can cause an increase of oxygen consumption in the fingers, which makes the blood appear darker. The darker color (purple or redness) in the patient’s hands is directly caused by this physiological reaction.

With sympathectomy, one can eliminate or reduce the symptoms of hyperhidrosis (wetness of the hands). This will also dilate the blood vessels which helps blood flow to the hands, causing the hands to become warmer and return to a more normal color. This particular change of warming and returning to normal color is not a lifetime guarantee. It can be a long or short term solution, and there are currently no parameters to predict the longevity of this particular change. Patients should keep in mind that the sympathectomy procedure is not advised for clammy or red fingers alone without hyperhidrosis unless it is part of the patient’s hyperhidrosis (excessive hand sweating) condition.


  1. Josh  August 9, 2018

    Hello, I have had red, cold, sweaty hands like all the other people on this site, but something that I noticed about my hands is that my hands constantly peel. The skin keeps constantly peeling off and the color of the peeled off skin is white. It does not hurt and there seems to never be an end to this white, dead peeling skin. Is there any medical term for this?

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  August 9, 2018

      Hi Josh. What you are describing is part of the hyperhidrosis or excessive hand sweating presentation. The skin peeling is not as common but can appear in a small percentage of the cases. There is no special treatment for that.If the sweating is to the dripping level than try the conservative measures and if no success than a consideration for the ETS should be given, Thanks.

  2. Sarah Sayer  July 31, 2018

    I’m not sure if this is what i have, I have had red palms since childhood, they now sweat a lot especially during the summer, Is there anything I can do to change this. I’m only 32 years old and have under-active thyroid.

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  July 31, 2018

      Hi Sarah. Hyperhidrosis and red palms can be together as a manifestation of excessive hand sweating. There is no connection between your thyroid condition and hyperhidrosis. Make sure that your thyroid is well controlled. If the hand sweating is too excessive you should try first some conservative methods such as pills or lotions. If you live in the US you can call us at 310-557-3037. Thanks

  3. Madison  January 28, 2018

    I have this too. This is the only thing closest to what I have. Everyone else all over the internet and ect who have HH don’t usually have red hands, they just sweat but for me my hands are extremely red all the time, filled with blood. When my hands get really hot they will throb too. If I put my hands up, most of the time the blood will rush down from my hands and they become a natural color. It’s very rare when my hands aren’t red, it’s usually when my hands aren’t sweating for a while. I get comments all the time about how red my hands are and people don’t get that so I usually hide my hands in a sweatshirt these days. My hands will be completely fine one second and red and sweaty and freezing the next. Is it really just a side effect of HH?

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  January 28, 2018

      Hi Madison. As you can read on the site the reason that some patients with sweaty hands also have red discoloration in their fingers. This is due to the fact the the hyper sympathetic activity also cuasing narrowing of the peripheral blood vessels which in return slow the circulation and secondary to that as more oxygen is extracted the color of the blood become darker. Sympathectomy can help with that but only on a temporary basis.

  4. Jason  November 21, 2014

    I have this. Even when dry and my hands are by my sides, the fingers are red. When I lift them above my head, they are not. Is there a way I can get rid of this?

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  November 22, 2014

      What you are describing has most likely to do with some narrowing of the blood vessels which slow the transit time of your blood in your extremities. In essence it has no physiological importance as long as one does not develop ulcers (from insufficient blood flow) or not healing cuts which means no adequate blood flow. If you do not have those it means that you have a variant of normal blood circulation.


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