Sweaty Hands
May 11, 2004 9:22 AM   Subscribe

IckyBodilyFunctionFilter: When I don't wear socks, my hands sweat much more. Why is that?
(I wear socks 95% of the time, but today I've just got sandals on and my hands are clammy and gross as I type this.)
posted by Mr Bunnsy to Science & Nature (7 answers total)
One guess: your feet are sensitive to temperature, so your body feels colder when your feet are sockless, and this prompts your metabolism to work harder and burn more calories, making your hands (along with the rest of you) feel warmer. There are some related comments in this thread.
posted by Shane at 9:32 AM on May 11, 2004

Maybe you're just icky, or wierd?

Sorry, I couldn't resist ;)

My hands sweat more when I do wear socks and I wonder - maybe this reaction is just along a Bell-Curve distribution and you are at one extreme end ?

Or - maybe you take off your socks when your metabolism is in an elevated state. I bet that your body is simply warm overall. Try sticking your bare feet in a pail of cold water, and hanging out in a cold refrigerated room. Do your hands sweat then ?

Also, there's something called "Raynaud's Syndrome" - basically, cold hands and feet due to restricted circulation. Maybe you have the opposite of that ? Some doctors recommend an odd cure for Raynaud's - hang out outside, on cold days, with one's Raynaud-afflicted hands, feet, or both, submerged in warm water - but otherwise dress lightly.

This - supposedly - trains one's body to send more blood to the extremities.

You could hang out in hot weather with your hands submerged in cold water. Or, just wait a few years :

Circulation to your hands, feet, head, and other extremities will decline as you age.

Or, just live a sedentary lifestyle watching a lot of TV, eat a huge amount of saturated fat, and drink lots of alcohol. This will likely accomplish the same effect - but much sooner in your life!
posted by troutfishing at 9:44 AM on May 11, 2004

Then again, you could just smear anti-perspirant on your hands.
posted by troutfishing at 9:44 AM on May 11, 2004

Response by poster: Shane: Possibly, although there doesn't seem to be a correlation with how warm or cold the rest of my body feels. It was that thread that prompted me to throw my own weirdness out to the AskMeFi masses.

Troutfishing: I'm a very cold person, actually. My hands and feet get cold very easily. Right now I'm in an air-conditioned office, feeling cold, and sitting on my feet to keep them warm. My hands, cold though they are, are getting sweaty and I just washed them five minutes ago. I must be icky and weird and doomed to closed-toe shoes forever.
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 9:57 AM on May 11, 2004

Another guess: how breathable is the material your sandal soles are made out of? The pores are most likely in direct contact with them, possibly blocking them off.
posted by darukaru at 10:27 AM on May 11, 2004

NY Times health article about people who sweat too much & possible treatment (abstract only, article is more than seven days old.)
posted by invisible ink at 10:53 AM on May 11, 2004

Mr Bunnsy - My hands and feet tend to get cold easily too.

I can think of a lot of peripheral explanations/solutions - most concern lifestyle changes - Candida/diet, exercise, something in your office environment.....

Oh yeah. This one rigns a bell - heavy metal toxity. It's consistent with those symptoms.
posted by troutfishing at 1:37 PM on May 12, 2004

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