Sweaty Palms is known medically as palmar hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweaty hands. Sweaty palms/hands is the most common form of hyperhidrosis for those suffering from excessive sweating. Excessive hand sweating or sweaty palms is a clinical situation where patients find difficulties in performing normal daily social and or functional activities. Over time this can have a major impact on peoples lives. Dedicating his career to hyperhidrosis, Dr. Reisfeld has helped more patients end their suffering from excessive sweaty hands than any other doctor in the U.S with an incredible 98%+ success rate.

Proven Cure and Success Rates:

Over the last 20 years, important advancements were made and many operations were performed with the help of miniature cameras (Endoscopic Surgery). In these surgeries, entrance into the body cavities, such as the abdomen or chest, is done through miniature incisions that results in minimal surgical damage and allows for speedy recoveries. Sweaty palms are cured in over 98-99% of cases. Why not 100%? There are some rare cases in which anatomical abnormalities can be found preventing the surgeons ability to complete the operation safely. Also in some rare cases severe scarring from previous unrecognized infections within the chest cavity can prevent the surgeon from completing the operation safely. Safety always comes first in these elective procedures. Operations today are done on an outpatient basis (patients return home the same day) achieving the same results as the open operation in the past but without the long hospital stays, severe pain, and excessive scarring.

Excessive sweaty hands can be quite severe affecting a patient’s everyday life both functionally and socially. Everyday activities such as using computers, musical instruments, and even driving can become a difficult task due to excessive hand sweating. Simple tasks such as opening a doorknob can be difficult. Personal relationships can also be affected negatively. (See Hyperhidrosis Testimonials) In a smaller sub-group of patients excessive hand sweating is associated with panic attacks which can be attributed to their fear of simple social situations. In about 50% or more of the patients sweaty palms/hands is genetic. Sweaty palms/hands usually begins early in childhood and can get more severe towards the late teenage years and into early adulthood. In some rare cases hyperhidrosis started, after a definite physical injury, either within the chest cavity or in a few cases because of electrocution. Obviously these kind of cases are rare but point to other rare possibilities as a cause of hyperhidrosis.

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The International Hyperhidrosis Society divides the severity of Palmar Hyperhidrosis or Excessive Hand Sweating into four subgroups. Group one consists of patients that have mild hand sweating which does not cause any functional or social problems. On the other end of the spectrum are patients with excessive hand sweating at a level of wetness described as dripping affecting them on a daily basis. Patients from the last group rarely have benefit from conservative measures such as Drysol, Drionic, Maxim, Oral Medications, or Botox. Obviously the above classification is an artificial one and even patients without dripping are good candidates for the surgery. The question that should be answered by any patient is the following:
Does this condition affect my life negatively?
In a few studies that were published on the topic of quality of life changes. The outcome was very positive with regard to the quality of life improvements after the surgery.

Causes of Sweaty Palms:
The term “hypersympathetic activity” is more accurate terminology because excessive sweating is caused by heightened activity in the sympathetic chain. The sympathetic chain is part of the autonomic nervous system which is located within the chest cavity. It has nothing to do with motoric or sensory functions which are part of the voluntary nervous system. Those functions are controlled by us compared to the independent nature of the sympathetic system.

Today, sympathectomy is performed endoscopically. One or two small incisions are made on each side of the chest cavity through which a fiber optic camera and other instruments are inserted. The sympathetic chain is then resected, coagulated, or clamped. At present, Dr. Reisfeld only performs the clamping method. Due to the fact that this is the preferred method done Dr. Reisfeld uses two small incisions on each side of the chest cavity. This method has the possibility of reversal. The success rate by all methods for the treatment of sweaty hands is about 98%. To learn more about the procedure in detail click here.

Sweaty Palms (Palmar Hyperhidrosis) Summary:
Excessive hand sweating can be a serious problem both in social settings and everyday functional activities such as opening a door, writing a paper, driving, computer usage or signing your name. These are just a few examples of how palmar hyperhidrosis can affect a person.

You may ask what should I do? Those affected should first discuss the matter with their doctor and then first try theconservative hyperhidrosis treatment measures available. If those measures do not give satisfactory relief then consideration should be given to the hyperhidrosis surgical treatment options to hyperhidrosis.

What about Excessive foot Sweating?
As a matter of fact after years of doing the Thoracic Sympathectomy it is becoming more evident that the success rate for plantar hyperhidrosis (foot sweating) is no more than 30% with the ETS procedure. For this reason the lumbar sympathectomy has emerged as a excellent option for those patients who did not get any relief with their plantar sweating after the thoracic sympathectomy or for those whom their plantar sweating is their major problem. The success rate of lumbar sympathectomy for excessive foot sweating is about 97%.


What is the age range for patients to have the ETS procedure done?
The age range of patients for which Dr. Reisfeld performs the ETS procedure is between 10 years old and 66 years old. Dr. Reisfeld assesses each patient on a case by case basis. Generally speaking at present the recommendation for younger patients is to wait until they have gained more physiological, physical and mental maturation. This means that the potential patients should wait until the approximate age of 15 or 16. It is however recommended that Dr. Reisfeld be contacted for a much more precise assessment. Please see our section on younger age hyperhidrosis.

Is the ETS procedure right for me?
Yes, it may very well be. Dr. Reisfeld consults and meets with every interested patient to determine if the procedure is right for him or her. The surgical solution to end hyperhidrosis is both highly effective and extremely safe. Dr.Reisfeld is the most experienced ETS doctor in the U.S. He takes great pride in what he does and it shows time and time again. He performs this proven surgery practically on a daily basis helping those who suffer from hyperhidrosis take their lives back. Contact us and we can arrange for you to personally speak with Dr. Reisfeld and ask any specific questions you have.

Sweaty Palms Testimonials:
“I admire your impeccable professionalism and your utmost skill in the performance of this highly technical and precise surgical procedure. I have waited many years since I was a young girl to properly get rid of this problem. My knowledge as a dermatologist led me to the best procedure and to the best doctor.”
Ligaya.B, M.D.    Read More From Doctor Ligaya

“I had the ETS surgery for palmar hyperhidrosis in 2003 and wanted to thank you and your staff for all of help. Taking a standardized test in the past was nearly impossible without handing in a sopping wet ScanTron sheet. Since my surgery date, I was able to take the paper and pencil medical school entrance exams. I applied to medical school and now I am a second year medical student in Ohio! This surgery changed my life.”
Sarah    Read More From Sarah

“I would also like to thank all of your staff for such a pleasant experience. They were very friendly and helpful from the first time that I made a phone call to your office up to the time in the recovery room. Everyone made me feel very comfortable and well taken care of.”
Peggy.P    Read More From Peggy

  Read from several touching thank you letters Dr. Reisfeld has received over the years since 1996.

Related Topics:

Do you have any hand sweating questions that were not answered here? Would you like to speak with Dr. Reisfeld to answer those questions? To learn more about what we can do for you, contact The Center for Hyperhidrosis by contacting our office or post your comments or questions below and we will do our best to reply.

Please view our disclaimer.


  1. Anonymous  December 11, 2014

    Ive had this my whole life and im 61 im afraid to meet and greet because of embarrassing sweaty hands. This has affected me socially and professionally. The funny thing is they can start sweating a few minutes after I wake up but sometimes there are occasions when my hands are warm and dry . And I can shake hands comfortably but those times are rare. Is this still a candidate or is the issue more a fear of social situations that causes this but then I can be all alone when this happens whenever I feel tense or worried.

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  December 17, 2014

      Thank you for contacting us and your comments. What you are describing is a typical case of excessive hand and feet sweating, known as Hyperhidrosis. It can bother individuals even at the age of 61 and older. The social and functional implementations of hyperhidrosis are known and has nothing to do with anxiety as the reason for this condition to occur. People do become anxious as they know it may occur when they attempt to engage in a social or functional activity. The basis for hyperhidrosis is a genetic one, and there are conservative methods available, however, the success rate with the alternative methods is not a good one. Obviously, at the age of 61, and most of your life, you were able to deal with this issue, however, if you are interested in more details of the surgical approach, we are happy to discuss options with you. Please contact us at our office.

  2. Umesh  December 10, 2014

    I’m from Mumbai, I’ll would like to get an advise or if there is any way I can get treatment concern my sweaty hands and foots problem . I started get this problem since I was 10 or 9 years old now I’m 27 and I’m still having this problem . I never see a doctor before and I don’t know how I can be cured . sometime during the hot season this problem appear quite a lot . and this affect social cause sometime it even hard to shake hand . or even write .

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  December 17, 2014

      Thank you for contacting us. There is a surgeon in Mumbai that is performing the thoracic sympathectomy and his email is avinashkatara@gmail.com I would advise you to reach out to him and hopefully he can be of help to you. We wish you the best. If you ever travel to the US, feel free to contact us.

  3. Anonymous  December 3, 2014

    Hi im an asian. Im suffering with palm and foot sweating problem since i was 7.Even now while im typing this im having palm and foot sweating. I just read about the ETS procedures. How does it work? And will have any side impact in the future after the ETS procedure? Please advise me on this. Thank you :)

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  December 6, 2014

      Statistically the percentage of people that suffer from hyperhidrosis (excessive hand and feet sweating) is about 1 1/2 – 2% of the population. In Asia, it is reported to be higher because of the genetic pool. We know that hyperhidrosis is genetic in origin. Alternative Treatment methods are not showing a great deal of success and ETS is the only proven way for long term/permanent help. If you are located where you are able to contact our office, we would be happy to answer all of your questions.

  4. Darryl Monroe  December 2, 2014

    Hi, my son 24 has excessively sweaty palms and it is affecting his lifestyle and quality of life. I am concerned about his mental state, is there anything that can be done to control this, i do not know if this will help but he also has epilespy,and takes kepra for it. desperate for help.

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  December 6, 2014

      Dear Darryl. The fact that your son suffers from epilepsy and takes Kepra, has nothing to do with his hyperhidrosis. The two conditions are not connected. I have performed cases on patients that have had both conditions, and as I am tell any potential candidate, try the alternative methods first, and if you have no success, a discussion with an experienced surgeon is pertinent. We would be happy to speak with you and answer any further questions you may have.

  5. chad  November 30, 2014

    Do u guys take hmsa quest medical?

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  December 6, 2014

      Please contact our office to discuss your insurance as we’re happy to investigate with your insurance to clarify benefits. 310-557-3037.

  6. Anonymous  November 30, 2014

    Hi !

    I’m from Tanzania I’ll would like to get an advise or if there is any way I can get treatment concern my sweaty hands and foots problem . I started get this problem since I was 10 or 9 years old now I’m 27 and I’m still having this problem . I never see a doctor before and I don’t know how I can be cured . sometime during the hot season this problem appear quite a lot . and this affect social cause sometime it even hard to shake hand . or even write .

    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  November 30, 2014

      You are describing a typical case of excessive hand and feet sweating. We refer to it as “focal hyperhidrosis”. It is genetically determined and so far we do not have a very effective conservative treatment (non surgical). Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy and Endoscopic Lumbar Sympathectomy are the best surgical solutions and hopefully you can get them in Tanzania. If not feel free to contact our office anytime.

  7. Kuria  November 19, 2014

    My name is Kuria and I am from Papua New Guinea. I have been having sweaty palms as of last month. It is going towards the second month and it is starting to really irritate me. I cannot have surgery here because I don’t know if we have doctors who can perform the procedure.

    Is there any medication that you can recommend for me to take to help?


    • Center For Hyperhidrosis  November 22, 2014

      Thanks for the comment Kuria. Without knowing more data about we cannot answer your question. Usually hyperhidrosis or excessive hand and feet sweating starts at an early age (grade school) and affects patients for the rest of their lives in all aspects of their life (socially, functionally). It is a genetic disorder and in the severe cases conservative treatments do not help. Again lacking more information about you, prevents us from giving you a more thorough answer. That being said you can read through this website (alternative treatments) and I’m sure you will find a lot of answers to your questions. Also try the search feature for any topic you choose.


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