Clammy skin is cool, moist, and usually pale.
Sweat - cold; Clammy skin; Cold sweat
Home care depends on what is causing the clammy skin. Call for medical help if you are not sure.
If you think the person is in shock, lie him or her down on the back and raise the legs about 12 inches. Call your local emergency number (such as 911) or take the person to the hospital.
If the clammy skin may be due to heat exhaustion, have the person drink plenty of fluids and move to a cool, shaded environment.
Seek immediate medical help if any of the following symptoms occur:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Signs of shock (such as confusion, lower level of alertness, or weak pulse)
Always contact your doctor or go to the emergency department if the symptoms do not go away quickly.
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the symptoms and the patient's medical history, including:
- How quickly did the clammy skin develop?
- Has it ever happened before?
- Has the person been injured?
- Is the person in pain?
- Does the person seem anxious or stressed?
- Has the person recently been exposed to high temperatures?
- What other symptoms are present?
Clammy skin may be an emergency. Call your doctor or 911 immediately.
Review Date: 1/16/2009
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, Clinic. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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