Facebook Pixel

Any help for skin that gets sticky when it gets wet?

By July 11, 2009 - 10:13pm
Rate This

Three nights ago I noticed that after washing my hands they felt really sticky, almost like when you use the last paper towel on the roll and you get that glue residue on your hands. However, it wasn't the last paper towel so I figured maybe the liquid soap was really old and doing funky things so I rewashed with dish soap and again grabbed a paper towel. Once again, my hands got sticky as I dried them off. Thinking now that there was something wrong with these paper towels, I washed again and this time dried with a hand towel only to yet again find my hands sticky as they dried off. The stickiness only lasts 30-60 seconds, until the skin completely dries, but during that in-between time of soaking wet and totally dry they feel very tacky to the touch and my fingers will actually stick to each other.

The next day when I took a shower I noticed that the water was beading up on the skin on my arms. Sure enough, when I dried off afterwards I found that all of my skin is tacky to the thouch until it is completely air dried.

Today I shaved my legs and my skin felt almost like it had a layer of wax on it that kept catching the razor. The skin on my hands seems to be getting more sticky when they get wet. Water continues to bead on my skin when it gets wet. I asked my children if they can feel that my skin is sticky to the touch and they said yes.

This is affecting all of my skin now, including my face. I always put a moisturizer on my face after washing and it does not feel like my skin is absorbing it now, it just feels heavy and greasy since the lotion just sits there on top. I also tried putting lotion on my hands and it was not absorbed at all, just left my hands feeling very slimy and greasy so I wiped it off.

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this or have any suggestions for what might be causing it? Thanks for any held you can give.

Add a Comment434 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I know this is an old post, but for anyone else whose dealing with this, I have been dealing with this for over a year!! it is literally a large build up of dead skin. LAYERS OF IT. THE answer to this is to EXFOLIATE. the dead skin doesnt slough off as quickly as it should, leading to build up, and when dirt / oil/ and moisture get trapped guess what?? sticky skin!!!
Sorry I cant be of more help. Try exfoliating lotions.
Also try to lower inflammation in your body as it could be related to skin issues!

March 23, 2017 - 1:54pm

I have not read all the comments so I don't know if this has been mentioned. Before you go through the medical check ups and meds you may want to get your water checked. We have hard water. We also have a water softener but it doesn't help all the time. My skin gets that sticky feeling and my fingers can actually stick together due to it. W also put in an aerator and we put a 3" chlorine tablet in a floater the aerator. This gets rid of the sticky water problem. I can tell when the chlorine tablet has ran out. Water starts getting that way again. It does affect me more than my husband though. Same way with out hot tub, the water can start to get that sticky feeling when the chlorine is getting low. We have very high calcium in our water, so possibly it's the calcium and the chlorine may be counteracting with it. Heck I don't know but it works for is. Also someone mentioned buildup in your hot water heater and I can very well see where that could be a problem also. This may not be the problem for any of you, but I would start noticing if when you are at someone else's house if you have that sticky feeling with their water.

January 17, 2017 - 1:05am
EmpowHER Guest

Too many wrong foods and over excess of salts. There is a excess of salt in everything.
That's why it's so hard to also lose weight. Because nothing preserves better than salt.... and also holds the water in the body preventing it from elimination.
Try to limit your salt from your diet as much as possible. Don't worry about having less. Nowadays is almost impossible. Lol
Drink lots of water with a few drops of lemon squeeze or a lemon slice.
Parsley is very good at eliminating salts, so is watermelon.
Most importantly everytime you go to the bathroom or wash dishes never dry your hands. Use that water on your hands by rubbing it on your face, neck, head If short hair, arms.....
I had extremely dry skin and tried every cream known to man. And psoriasis.
Since I started to wet my face, arms, neck every chance I get, it has disappeared completely. Who would have thought plain water would do it. Unreal
After all, we are over 80% water. Our skin and face, arms, body needs it.
My skin was so dry before, that if water would have touched my face, my skin would have gotten so dry so tide it felt like it was cracking. Extremely uncomfortable. Especially after showers. Had to use a ton of moisturizer to get rid of the discomfort.
Mostly because I worked outdoors for decades.
So, lots and lots of cold water. As cold as you possible. The body will turn the fat from your body into energy to warm up that cold water and also cool you down.
Bananas, Parsley, watermelon..... Best at many, many things. But most of all eliminating salt.

December 29, 2016 - 11:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have oily waxy skin. It is over entire body. Worse upper arms,behind,calves n back. Sticky feelin when skin is wet. Clamy oily feelin when skin is dry. After showering n I dry off I feel it on my towel. What ever is on my skin gets on everthi g my skin comes in contact with. It's very hard to clean whatever it is out of tube. I do have an overactive thyroid. Off the charts so imtold. Just recently been diagnosed.i believe I've been suffering for two decades with this overactive thyroid. Never experienced this skin problem until recently. The moment I started taking Adderall this happens. When I stopped it took a good two wks to clear up but skin problem went away. Started back up with the Adderall once prescribed meds for hyperthyroidism. But skin problem started up again after again only taking Adderall for a day or two. Need the adrl. But this skin problem is driving me nuts. Spending to much time trying to keep as much off of me as possible. Any ideas out there on what's happening to me. Even though I stopped taking it. Two wks or so is to much for me to deal with til it clears up.

November 23, 2016 - 3:14am

I have been following this post since it started when I was 18. I started having this sticky skin problem when I was 16 and it never went away. I think it might have improved slightly or I just got used to it. I'm 24 now and I've been very determined lately to finally figure this out.
My symptoms:
Skin tacky when damp (worse on my face and chest)
Any type of moisturizer or liquid makeup never fully absorbs into my skin. It feels tacky until I wash it off.
If I wash my face with plain water then let it dry completely it doesn't feel sticky(for once).
I've noticed that salt water from the ocean makes my skin feel extra tacky when it's damp.

There has to be a cause for this irritating feeling. My skin used to feel so nice and I could use beauty products without any issues. It's vain being so concerned about it but it really has been a nightmare to deal with and I need answers. I'm going to find a derm. I have never been to before and I'll let you all know what they say.

February 3, 2016 - 9:12pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Dunnyxo)

I went through that "sticky skin" even "sticky Hair" which even the hair stylist commented on.....getting worse and worse. After three years of trying to find out what was causing it, which everyone thought I was crazy. I was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 4.
Had that fricking lump taken out. Refused chemo which they said I'd be dead in three months if I didn't take, but did do radiation. As soon as they took that lump out.... no more sticky skin or hair. Here, five yrs later... no sticky skin or hair.... so what do you think might be the cause of "sticky skin or sticky hair?"

September 6, 2016 - 8:22pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Dunnyxo)

Hi, i have this same problem I have figured out this is dead skin. I'm not sure if the skin is dying to fast or not turning over quick enough. I'm going with the later. I bought a Clarisonic it's actually help with my face. It's definitely dead skin my doctor told me. He had ran blood test. My only abnormal one is Vitamin D its 12, it should be at least 40+.

April 24, 2016 - 5:16pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

PLEASE help. If I get my face wet at all, my skin becomes extremely tight and is sticky-ish to touch. After it dries, I have flakes EVERYWHERE. Derm dept at Johns Hopkins could not figure it out, meaning, I've tried practically everything. This dead skin thing seems promising. My doctor also did a blood test and my Vitamin D was 13! If I really scrub my face hard, it feels great for about 24 hours, then goes bad again, this cycle has only happened twice though. Odd. Please discuss.

May 8, 2016 - 6:05pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Dunnyxo)

please keep us posted with any updates please!

February 7, 2016 - 5:25pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have had this "sticky skin syndrome" in the past. Doctor completely brushed me off as crazy. For me personally I think it was a bad reaction to soaps I had been using for years. To get rid of the sticky skin I washed with selsun blue as a body wash even face wash. It worked right away but I had to use it everyday for about 6 months to get rid of it for good. I switched shampoos/conditioners and body soap and have been fine ever since. Can't touch my old soaps without the stickiness/waxy feeling coming back. I really hope this helps someone because it's an awful way to live life especially if it gets as bad as mine was my skin would be so sticky after showers I was like a living lint roller. I pretty much needed another shower. It was awful. Good luck to all of you.

January 19, 2016 - 5:32pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.