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

By Twig 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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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)

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)

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
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for your input Anon.
We're grateful for any tips for our readers. I'm glad you found a remedy for yourself.

January 20, 2016 - 6:12am
EmpowHER Guest

My sticky skin problem covered my whole body and was continuous, i.e. 24/7. A dermatologist recommended using Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash. It worked like magic. I believe it is the Salicylic Acid that solved the problem.

December 14, 2015 - 2:09pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

o wow i am experiencing the same all over my whole body. how long did you had to use that body wash for? are symptoms now completely gone?

January 26, 2016 - 9:13am
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