Clammy skin is cool, moist, and usually pale.
Clammy skin may be an emergency. Call your doctor or your local emergency number, such as 911.
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 and the person is awake and can swallow:
Seek immediate medical help if the person has any of the following signs or symptoms:
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:
Sweat - cold; Clammy skin; Cold sweat
Jones AE, Kline JA. Shock. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 4.
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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