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

By July 11, 2009 - 10:13pm
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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.

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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
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

My son is having the same problems with his hands feeling waxy and sticky.. I feel so bad for him.. I am going to try the selsun blue for him to see if that will do the trick.. He sees a dermatologist this week.. His medical Dr just brushed him off!! You mentioned you switched shampoos and soaps.. What kind did you switch to after it all got better with the selsun blue?? Thanks.. Desperate mom needing help!!

April 2, 2016 - 3:57pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Did u ever figure this out me and my family are suffering with this we need help did u get any answers as to what this can be plz share thanks

September 14, 2016 - 1:32pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

i'm in the exact same situation that you were in. I guess there is some hope! realized that there are many different selsun blue products.. which one did you use? if you're saying that you can't use old soaps without the stickiness coming back.. does that mean the condition is not totally gone? =(

January 26, 2016 - 9:17am
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