What’s Causing My Clammy Skin

What Is Clammy Skin?

Clammy skin is a common condition that affects many people. It is caused by a combination of factors such as: stress, emotional distress, illness or other health problems, exposure to extreme weather conditions (such as heat waves), and physical activity. Some people have it more than others but most will experience some degree of discomfort when exposed to cold temperatures.

The term “clammy” comes from the old English word “camel,” which means “to make wet.” When someone is wet, they feel clammy. People with clammy skin may feel like their bodies are constantly damp and clammy even when they aren’t.

They might also experience headaches, feeling sick, or even a fever.

Clammy skin can occur at any age. However, it tends to affect children and teens more often than adults because their bodies are still developing. Children and teenagers tend to sweat less than adults do so they don’t usually develop clammy skin as much.

Also, kids and teens are more likely to spend time in hot environments where they may become overheated or dehydrated which causes them to lose fluids through perspiration rather than urination.

Most people are aware of cold clammy skin but many don’t know that they can also experience clammy skin for other reasons.

The most common causes of clammy skin include: sickness, being nervous or anxious, being very tired or stressed, and being exposed to excessively hot or cold temperatures. Other factors that can cause clammy skin include the use of certain medicines, hormonal imbalances, and certain health conditions such as an underactive thyroid or diabetes. Pregnancy can also cause changes in skin temperature and sweating.

Fortunately, most people with clammy skin feel better after treating their underlying condition and avoiding hot or cold environments. Other treatments for clammy skin include drinking plenty of fluids, spending time in a cool environment, avoiding spicy foods, and not wearing clothes that are too tight. Some people find that eating bananas or taking magnesium supplements helps to relieve the symptoms of clammy skin.

What are the causes, signs and symptoms of clammy skin?

The main causes of clammy skin include:


emotional distress

drug side effects

certain medical conditions, such as an underactive thyroid or diabetes


certain medicines

Clammy skin can cause many different signs and symptoms. The most common ones include:

a damp or wet feeling on your skin

brain fog

being easily startled

feeling dizzy or lightheaded

feeling hyperactive or restless

feeling sick to your stomach

having a headache or pain in your head, especially behind your eyes

having nightmares or trouble sleeping (insomnia)

Other signs and symptoms of clammy skin depend on the underlying cause.

What are the risk factors of clammy skin?

Most people experience clammy skin from time to time when they are sick, nervous or stressed. However, some people may experience clammy skin more often than others, especially if there is an underlying medical condition involved.

Sources & references used in this article:

Plastic Artificial Gullets by RW Raven – British Medical Journal, 1952 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Serum Culture of Erythroblasts by LG Lajtha – British Medical Journal, 1952 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Skin deep: a mind/body program for healthy skin by TA Grossbart, C Sherman – 1992 – books.google.com

Cardiac index during therapeutic hypothermia: which target value is optimal? by R Giraud, N Siegenthaler, K Bendjelid – Critical Care, 2013 – ccforum.biomedcentral.com

Kenji. My name is Kenji. Good to meet you. As if the act of knowing my name confirmed the appropriateness of finally grasping my hand in a clammy handshake … by K Tokawa – composition.pitt.edu

Holding on to the Moment by LH Pellico, MM Bridgman, L Nero – Imprint, 2009 – researchgate.net

How to manage an acute upper GI bleed: one of today’s most common medical emergencies is also one of the most demanding, requiring rapid assessment and … by J Krumberger – RN, 2005 – go.gale.com