Student with sweaty hands

Donna said: Aug 13, 2013
Donna Granda
Suzuki Association Member
Jackson, NJ
4 posts

I have a student whose hands sweat extensively no matter what season. Any ideas?
She already has a cloth she uses to dry her hands off.

Alissa said: Aug 13, 2013
Alissa Rieb
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
61 posts

Does it bother her? I’ve had two kids like this and they got used to it.
One used a gel had sanitizer with alcohol only and that helped as a drying

Wendy Caron Zohar said: Aug 13, 2013
Wendy Caron Zohar
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Ann Arbor, MI
94 posts

I once had a student with very sweaty hands; her sweat was so corrosive she would wear through her strings every month or so. They became pitted and rough, and went false so she was changing strings often! This was despite my guiding her to dry her hands on a cloth as she was playing, and to wipe her strings down with a cloth to get the sweat off after practicing or playing in orchestra, before she put her violin away. Her sweating was not due to nerves. It would get in the way of her shifting as her hand would stick as she tried to glide up the neck.

I have a washroom attached to my studio. During the lesson, if her sweating bothered her, I’d suggest she wash off the sweat and dry her hands with a towel, to refresh herself, which helped to get through the lesson. Her studies with me started in Bk 3 at the beginning of middle school and she continued through book 8 into her senior year, by which time she seemed to have overcome the challenges of her sweating. She managed her shifting with ease.

In some cases it could just be a matter of body chemistry. If it really presents a problem for the student, it might be warranted for the family to consult a physician to see whether it’s genetic, whether it’s possibly related to some endocrine system imbalance, diet, a growth spurt, or a manifestation of something else.

Wendy Caron Zohar

Susan said: Aug 16, 2013
 Violin, Viola
22 posts

Really depends upon how much sweat. I had a student whose sweat was so bad, it
dripped from her hands. She wound up getting botox in her sweat glands. Another girl (interesting that both were girls) had sweaty hands and I suggested that she get those alcohol wipes like doctors use. That seems to work pretty well. If the wipes aren’t good enough, a trip to the doctor’s is a good idea.

Deirdre Oehrtmann said: Aug 25, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
Windham, ME
5 posts

I had a colleague many years ago who had this problem. She always carried a small metal tin of corn starch with her in her viola case. On bad days, it would only take a small amount rubbed between her hands to clear up the situation!

Caitie said: Aug 25, 2013
 1 posts

I play the flute and I don’t have that problem, but I teach a girl who does, and she carries a little thing of hand sanitizer in her backpack. She puts it on before lesson and about half way through lesson, she puts some on again. That seems to work for her.

Caitie Wood

Emily said: Nov 7, 2013
 59 posts

I have seen success with students using the hand sanitizer. The alcohol tends to dry the hands out a bit but does sometimes need to be used quite often depending on the severity. I believe that there are medicines as well so a trip to the doctor may be in order.

Emily Christensen
Music Teacher & Writer

Krista Windingland said: Nov 8, 2013
Krista WindinglandViolin, Viola
Lewisville, TX
1 posts

TALCUM POWDER!! Works great!

Krista Windingland

Barbara Zuchowicz said: Nov 8, 2013
Barbara Zuchowicz
Suzuki Association Member
Ottawa, ON
2 posts

Rosin works great. For cellists it’s especially easy. Just don]t clean all the rosin off your bridge when you wipe down your instrument. Then when you need it you can just inconspicuously touch your fingers to the top side of the bridge and rub it into your hands. It’s always there! It’s free.

Anne said: Nov 22, 2013
Anne SanchezPiano
9 posts

Excessively sweaty palms can be related to a medical condition known as palmoplantar hyperhydrosis. The sweat glands are in overdrive and are not easy to control in someone with this condition. It’s always best to talk to a physician about it if it is affecting your daily life. There are a lot of great suggestions on here, but I’d like to add a couple more, if I can.

-Antiperspirant (not deodorant) with 30% aluminum chloride hexahydrate as an
ingredient works really well for some.
-Baking soda and talcum powder work well after hands are washed and dried
-Foot powder is extremely absorbent and works better than the two listed above.
-Decrease caffeine intake.
-Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (not the antibacterial kind).
-Botox can work for up to seven months, sometimes longer, but I would consult
with a physician first to get a diagnosis. There are medications available that can help.
-Alcohol wipes work well, too, you can buy them at most markets or pharmacies.
-Lotion, I know it sounds weird, but it blocks the pores from producing any new
sweat, just make sure it’s not petroleum based.
-Sympathectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a nerve in your chest that
controls your body’s sweating. This would be a last resort.
-Iontophoresis is another way. You submerge your hands in water and electrical
impulses temporarily relieve your sweating. It is painless and your doctor can
write a medical request so you can do this at home.

I love music and reading the different posts about it, but when I came across this one, the nursing student in me just had to say something. I hope one of these things works for her, especially since this condition can be quite embarrassing for children. Good luck!

Harry Ford said: Sep 14, 2014
 1 posts

Best for palms is Electro Antiperspirant. Botox is expensive and usually lasts only 1-2 at best, sympathectomy has compensatory sweating as side effect… Check this out:

Jennifer Yarbrough said: Oct 30, 2014
Jennifer Yarbrough
Suzuki Association Member
Poulsbo, WA
1 posts

They could be suffering from hyperhydrosis, a condition where the body produces excessive sweat on the hands and feet. It’s a neurological disorder that can go one of two ways around the time of puberty: either it can wane, or it can get worse.

I myself had hyperhydrosis, and the more serious I became about violin, the more debilitating the condition became, until eventually I went through a surgical procedure which cured me. Now my hands are nice and dry, but before surgery, even topical prescriptions wouldn’t work.

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