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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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sticky skin

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 Comment472 Comments

Try using baking soda baths and wash ur hair with it too in ur shampoo

October 11, 2020 - 11:50pm
EmpowHER Guest

This sticky is a response to one of two parasites. Scabies mites or pubic lice.
I had this for 3 years and ginally went to a dermatologist who recommended ivermechtin. I had no signs of the mites but tryed it anyway and done worked like a charm.

January 24, 2020 - 5:32am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi, i have read that people with high blood sugar get this. It could be a sign of a medica issue. I also get this, and doctors tests show nothing! I see how many people have posted on her saying they have this, and yet doctors have no clue? somethings not right...

March 22, 2020 - 11:44am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

This "Sticky Skin Syndrome", is driving me crazy too! I've had mine for 3 years now, tried many types of remedies. Soaps,Anti-fungals, diet changes, seen my dermatalogist,,GP, and have carried out tests which come back normal. My doctors and family, notice my waxy textured skin so i know its not psychological! I think this is coming from within the body. Either its from something in the food,air or its a undiagnosed medical issue i have no idea about. I have had Blood Glucose, triglycerides, and Image tests done CT/MRI, and all clear! Im going bonkers!! Hope someone on here who has this posts, and can shed some light on this!

March 25, 2020 - 9:08am
EmpowHER Guest

Had it for 2 years terrible sticky hands underarms. Tried everything antibiotics antifungals and on and on. Finally went through every post I could find and somebodies doc said neutrogena body clear with salisylic acid. Tried it didnt work. Then thought about it and remembered water can neutralize acid because it has a high ph comparatively. So I soaped up outside the shower and let it sit for 5 minutes got in the shower. After 2 years of this ordeal gone hope this works for others on here.

December 14, 2019 - 6:23am
Guide (reply to Anonymous)


Thank you for sharing this! It might help others struggling with this problem. It certainly is worth trying.



December 14, 2019 - 5:18pm
EmpowHER Guest

Sorry if this is long

I don't have any information yet but I should because it's an environmental issue for me. 2 weeks ago I noticed strange greasy spots on my dishes that were really hard to get off. The more I washed the more it spread, and it begun to stick to my hands. If I touched another surface it would infect the surface quickly. Finally one weekend when I tried to do a deep clean, it spread to almost every surface of the house as well as the rest of my body. I know that this is some kind of biofilm, I just don't know which one. Using normal soaps and antibacterials made it worse and it spread either via air or humidity. In my case it has infected the water taps so the issue got quite bad and for better or for worse I will have to find out what it is by getting the city or my landlord involved. I did some research and ordered some products (not affiliated with these products, just what I tried after reading about biofilms)

Kleen Free, Probiocare, Silver, Activated Charcoal

Kleen free is an enzymatic cleaner that is 100% safe to wash with and bathe with. Probiocare is a probiotic cleaner. Although it does not say it is safe to bathe with or use on skin, it's supposed to be used highly diluted, and all it has in it is probiotics, water, and a bit of alcohol. Neither of them are unsafe or caustic in any way and as an added bonus the Kleen Free is a natural pesticide. These products both work to break down biofilms in a completely different way. After I washed my hair with Kleen Free it was like night and day. I knew my hair was accumulating film but I didn't know it was that bad.

Activated Charcoal is absorbent and acts as a binder. Before my charcoal soap bar got contaminated and with a soap free charcoal wash I noticed my hands could actually get clean. For me though it was more helpful to use on surfaces. It was messy, so I stopped doing this, but I would put some activated charcoal in a greasy bowl. Some of the bacteria would stick to it and then it would be easier to see and clean.

Silver is a natural antibiotic. You can get silver salves for wounds, colloidal silver, or silver spirals on Amazon that are not actually meant for water or skin but for computer cooling systems. I bought one to put in my pet's water bowl so they can be safer while I figure this out. I didn't want to touch it so I don't know how it would work to rub on your hands, but colloidal silver and colloidal silver soap seemed to have some activity against the bacteria.

So if you are scared to use the cleansers on your skin, try an activated charcoal soap, scrubbing actual activated charcoal (messy), colloidal silver liquid or soap.

It is adhered to the surface very strongly so I cannot say how well ozone or UV-C affects this bacteria and obviously this is not something to use on the skin. Two things I have not tried are colloidal copper (also kills bacteria) and the silver in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide. Another test to see if you have bacteria on your skin or sticky spots is to pour hydrogen peroxide there. If they fizz up there are germs or something biological.

I have been trying to get a medical test since it is all over my hands and body. Like you all I got blown off by the doctor, even worse I couldn't get in with my PCP (who I trust, but I'd have to wait for a referral) and knew I'd get blown off by urgent care so I sucked it up and went to the "good" ER. They were terrible and treated me like I was crazy and refused to listen to me or examine my hands or anything correctly. They shamed me because it wasn't a "real emergency", tried to tell me it was "just sweat" on my hands, when I panicked and tried to show them the greasy film on my phone when using an alcohol swab (NOT a normal film at all) the doctor said, "My phone does that too", they left and sent in a social worker to "help me with my environmental issues" who asked if I had OCD because I was washing my hands!

I ended up using the sink in there for about 10 minutes to get off the huge amount of dried bacteria. I asked the doctor and he said sure because he didn't believe me. Since the taps in my house are infected I can't fully wash them there and I did not want to do this anywhere else. I thought he would come see the water and believe me (the water gets thick and gets strange patterns) but he left, and the only two people to see it were the social worker who looked at me again like I was nuts and said "that's just water evaporating". The water doesn't drain in the way it's supposed to, it acts as if the surface is oily and breaks up into many little beads and gaps. You can sometimes see slime trails as it goes down the drain or little gritty pieces or bubbles. I did not want to infect anyone at the hospital but having somewhere to wash off helped me immensely. I am now urgently trying to get a hold of the state department to report this and monitor the hospital if there are any upticks in infections. When I called the state to get the right number they were really disappointed in the experience from a public health perspective. The doctors were touching things without gloves and not listening to me about the sink. They said things are "fine" and so I am now walking around town potentially causing an outbreak.

If I find out what this is (and I must, eventually, because otherwise the landlord loses a unit and I lose all my things) I will post it here. In the mean time if anyone responds to activated charcoal, silver, kleen free, or probiocare this is most likely a biofilm. Stop using soaps and antibacterial washes they are making it worse, and consider that it may be in your water.

This may end up helping people who identify with Morgellons, because I noticed that this substance is so sticky that upon rubbing my hands, or leaving soap or water in a dish, tiny clumps of fiber would bunch up. In my case they were not coming out of my skin but they were just tiny fibers caught to my skin that ended up balling up if I finally applied a substance that started to kill the biofilm, and the same with soaking dishes. They looked like little black specs.

In addition, I have had a strange skin condition since December. It looked like hormonal acne but they were hard bumps that I thought were milia. I got obsessed with how bad it was and picked at them and scratched them, causing a lot of open wounds that healed up fine. I sometimes rubbed oil into it to help loosen the spots, and depending on the state of my skin a bunch of stuff would come out. At the time I thought my skin was "purging" keratin plugs and blackheads, but now that I think of it there were WAYY too many, and they kept growing back. The smaller bumps are now gone but I'm waking up with much larger welts. This makes me think I got some sort of staph infection but I can't find anything about the sticky film and how staph looks in colonies and in water. I'm trying to find more information about this because until a professional tests my environment unless I can find a doctor who will do their job with weird stuff (I wish Dr House existed..). They did take a half hearted nasal swab at the ER but I don't know how they are culturing this or if that's the correct method.

I expect I don't have the exact problem as all of you but trying some of those cleaner ans options should help narrow it down. I will post back soon. Hope you don't hear about me third party due to an outbreak

July 20, 2019 - 9:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Sounds like you may have a type of yeast infection, it takes a long time, alot of consistency and commitment to clear up.

January 7, 2020 - 12:40am
EmpowHER Guest

I got really sticky after bathing. My lips. Under arms bore. This happened after I had my baby. I think the meds and the caesarian did it. It's 6 years now and I have to apply baby oil all over after having a warm bath. The cooler the bath the better. I can't leave the house without applying baby oil all over its routine.

November 15, 2018 - 3:56am
EmpowHER Guest

My hands did feel waxy when I got them wet during the time that I had places that my skin was sticky - dermatologists were useless - I thought it might be a fungal infection and used over the counter medication AND THE STICKINESS WENT AWAY FOR GOOD. I'm not suggesting that everyone who has sticky skin has a fungal infection, but there's no harm in doing the treatment to find out (although, if the stickiness is full body, I think it may be less likely to be fungal and I wouldn't do treatment full body but still maybe just one part of your body to see). Hope this is helpful to those of you that do have a fungal infection.

October 9, 2018 - 3:57pm
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