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Health Encylopedia

Skin - clammy
Definition Skin that is cool, moist, and usually pale .
Alternative Names Sweat - cold; Clammy skin; Cold sweat
Considerations Clammy skin may be an indication of an emergency situation, and the doctor should be notified immediately.
Common Causes
  • shock
  • (such as
  • hypovolemic shock , cardiogenic shock , or septic shock )
  • severe pain
  • heart attack
  • anxiety
  • attack
  • heat exhaustion
  • Home Care
  • For
  • shock , the patient should lie down on the back with legs elevated about 12 inches. Either call for emergency help or take the victim to a hospital. For heat exhaustion , have the person drink plenty of fluids and move to a cool, shaded environment.
    Call your health care provider if
  • shortness of breath, chest discomfort, or signs of
  • shock (such as confusion, diminished consciousness, or weak pulse) are present. If you are unable to reach your provider, call for emergency help or take the victim to a hospital.
  • contact your doctor if the symptoms do not resolve quickly.
  • What to expect at your health care provider's office The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed. Note: If the person is hard to awaken, has difficulty breathing , or has a rapid, weak pulse this is an emergency! Medical history questions documenting clammy skin in detail may include:
  • time pattern
  • How quickly did this develop?
  • Did it develop suddenly?
  • Has it ever happened before?
  • aggravating factors
  • Has there been an injury?
  • Is the person ill?
  • Are they in pain?
  • Do they seem anxious or stressed?
  • Has there been a recent exposure to high temperatures?
  • other
  • What other symptoms are also present?
  • Vital signs (temperature, pulse , rate of breathing, blood pressure ) will be monitored, a cause determined, and appropriate emergency measures will be taken.