Sticky skin, cold sweat: what is this, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Skin – clammy; Sweat – cold; Clammy skin; Cold sweat

Sticky skin is a symptom of various diseases.. This is most often caused by overheating., increased levels of stress or anxiety, dehydration or such diseases, fever.

Clammy skin can also be a side effect of certain medications.. In some cases, this may indicate a more serious condition., such as infection or heat stroke. It is important to know the causes and treatments for clammy skin, to determine, when to seek medical attention.

What is sticky skin?

Sticky skin is a medical symptom, characterized by moist or sweaty skin, cold to the touch. Usually, clammy skin over a large area of ​​the body is a sign of an underlying disease, such as an infection or internal health problem.

Causes of clammy skin

Sticky skin can be caused by various factors..

  • The most common cause of clammy skin is overheating., which occurs, when the body can't cool down, and the sweat does not evaporate.
  • Other potential causes of clammy skin include stress., anxiety and dehydration.
  • Medical conditions, such as fever, hypoglycemia and anaphylaxis, can also cause sticky skin.
  • Some medications, including some antidepressants and anticoagulants, can also cause sticky skin. Sticky skin can also be a symptom of an infection., such as meningitis or sepsis.

clammy skin symptoms

The main symptom of clammy skin is a feeling of moisture on the skin., which is cold and often clammy to the touch. The affected area may also appear pale and clammy.. In some cases, clammy skin may be accompanied by other symptoms., like a heartbeat, nausea or confusion.

When to contact a healthcare professional

If you experience clammy skin over a large area of ​​the body, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. This is especially true, if clammy skin is accompanied by other symptoms, like a heartbeat, nausea, confusion or difficulty breathing. If your clammy skin is the result of a fever, it is also important to seek medical attention.

Questions, that your doctor may ask

When you visit your doctor for clammy skin, he can ask some questions, to help determine the root cause. The doctor may ask about recent activities, such as exercise or weight lifting.

Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, including:

  • How long have you had clammy skin?
  • Have you noticed any other symptoms, such as chills or dizziness?
  • Are you currently taking any medications??
  • Have you had a history of heart disease, diabetes or other chronic diseases?
  • Have you been exposed to any infectious agents, such as bacteria or viruses?

Diagnosing the Causes of Sticky Skin

To diagnose the cause of clammy skin, your doctor can perform a physical exam and review your medical history. If fever is present, the doctor may do a blood or urine test, to determine the presence of infection. Depending on your symptoms, they may also order a chest x-ray or other imaging tests.

Sticky skin treatment

Treatment for clammy skin depends on the underlying cause.

  • If the cause is overheating or dehydration, the most important treatment is to increase fluid intake and cool down as soon as possible.
  • If the cause is an infection, medicines may be prescribed to treat the infection.
  • If disease is the underlying cause, such as anaphylaxis, a doctor may recommend medications to reduce symptoms and treat the condition.

Home treatment for clammy skin

If you have clammy skin, there are steps, things you can do at home, to reduce symptoms. The most important treatment is to increase fluid intake. Drink plenty of water and other soft drinks, to avoid dehydration. It is also important to avoid, which can cause overheating and excessive sweating, eg, intense exercise. You can also take a cool shower or bath., to lower body temperature.


To prevent sticky skin, important to take action, to keep cool and hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially on hot days. Avoid intense exercise and other activities, which can cause excessive sweating and overheating. It is also important to be aware of any underlying medical conditions., which can cause clammy skin, such as anaphylaxis or fever. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions for managing these conditions.. If you are taking any medications, be sure to tell your doctor, if you have sticky skin, as some medications can cause this symptom.

Used sources and literature

Angus DC. Approach to the patient with shock. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 98.

Marik PE. Endocrinology of the stress response during critical illness. In: Ronco C, Bellomo R, Kellum JA, Ricci Z, eds. Critical Care Nephrology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 76.

Puskarich MA, Jones AE. Shock. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 6.

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