Sweat is a salty, clear liquid produced by our gland in the skin. Sweating is a normal and natural process by which the body cools itself. Although it is natural, it still makes us a little embarrassed in public as sweating shows patches under your arms and back and mostly produces a bad smell or odor. People usually have sweat under arms, on the back, palms and the feet. Sweating is normal and is necessary to maintain homeostasis in the body but too much sweating or no sweating can be bad for our health. Here in this article we are going to discuss all about sweating and is this good or bad for our health.
What is Sweating
Sweating is a natural mechanism of the body of cooling down its temperature in order to maintain homeostasis. The skin has mainly two types of sweat glands, Apocrine and Eccrine glands. Apocrine glands develop in the areas abundant with hair follicles and open into the hair follicle, mainly in the armpits, scalp and groin. Eccrine glands are present over most of the part of your body and directly open onto the surface of the skin. There are tiny holes in the skin known as pores from where the sweat exits our body. Sweat is generally made up of water, salts and traces of minerals like Sodium, Potassium, magnesium, urea and calcium.
Physiology of Sweating
While we do any physical activity like exercise, walking, running, or other daily activities, sweating is going to happen and it’s normal. Even stress or anxiety can also produce sweating. So basically when the temperature of the surrounding changes your body responds to it. For example in the winters, the temperature of the surroundings is lower than the normal body temperature and thus the body adapts to it by shivering and we usually cover the body with thick layers of clothes. Similarly, during summer, the temperature of the surroundings is higher than our body temperature and then our body adapts to it by cooling it down through sweating or perspiration.
Our brain senses that the temperature of the surroundings is higher than that of our body and then it signals the sweat glands under your skin to produce sweat. Sweat exits our body through pores and after that those small drops of sweat evaporate into the air. It is a natural mechanism of our body to cool down. The amount of thirst we feel and the amount of sweating are always proportional to each other. When the body temperature increases the Sympathetic nervous system stimulates the sweat glands to secrete water content to cools the body by evaporation. Also the emotional stress or anxiety stimulates the contraction of the gland and expels its contents.
What are the Reasons for Sweating
Sweating is quite normal and occurs regularly due to daily activities. However there are some reasons that increase or produce sweating
- High temperature
- Emotions like anger, fear, anxiety, embarrassment
- Foods like spicy foods, caffeinated drinks
- Alcohol beverages
- Medications like pain killers, antipyretics, etc.
- Medical conditions like fever, infection, cancer, hypoglycemia, etc.
- During menopause
- Other hormonal changes
Excess Sweating – is it normal
Some people sweat more than others, this condition is known as Hyperhidrosis. Although excess sweating or hyperhidrosis is normal. Most people sweat when they do exercise or in a hot environment or under stress or anxiety. Some people have excessive sweating due to hereditary or some other medical condition. But Hyperhidrosis can be easily managed by drinking more water or fluids and by sitting under an electric fan or air conditioning. It usually affects the feet, hands, underarms or face.
No Sweating – is it normal
No sweating that is known as Anhidrosis and less sweating known as hypohidrois are the conditions in which your body produces less sweat or no sweat at all. This condition is dangerous and indicates other underlying medical conditions and also indicates that your body is not able to release the heat to cool down.
Benefits of normal Sweating
Normal sweating is good for the health of a person as it helps to maintain the body temperature. Here are some benefits of the sweating with and without exercise
- Detox of heavy metals
- Elimination of chemicals
- Bacterial cleansing
- Boosting energy
- Maintaining healthy weight
- Defending against many diseases and health conditions
- Improving mood
- Promoting good sleep
- Maintain homeostasis
Why Does Sweat Produce Bad Odor
As mentioned above, sweat is mostly made up of salt and water. Sweat also produces bad odor mostly in the armpits and groin because the sweat glands present in the groin and armpits are different from the ones present on the rest of the body. Also, the groin and armpits have more hair than the rest of the body. Generally the sweat doesn’t smell bad. But after the secretion of sweat, some bacteria that present around the body hair mixed up with the sweat and converted it into acids that produce odor. This is the reason our armpits or other hairy parts of the body smell more than our palms or face do. After puberty your sweat glands get triggered by the hormones and produce more sweat and odor as compared to when we are kids.
Effects of Excess Sweating on Health
Excess sweating or hyperhidrosis is bad for the health as it can have some harmful effect on the skin or the body:
- Excess sweating can give rise to the bacterial growth on the skin and can also lead to skin infection.
- Wet skin due to prolonged sweating can become pale, inflamed or red.
- It can develop cracks on the skin.
- It can produce a bad odor.
Some Myths and Facts about Sweating
There are many myths about sweating that are not necessarily true. Here are some myths and facts about sweating
1. Is it Bad To Sweat
Sweating is natural and it’s normal and safe to sweat, because we have sweat glands that regulate the temperature of our body and maintain homeostasis just like we have installed air conditioners to regulate our houses temperature. So you should stop thinking that sweating is bad. Everyone sweats but in different amounts.
2. Sweat Is Odorous And Stinky
It has been discussed already that sweat is only water and salts and odorless when it exits from the body. But when the sweat comes in contact with bacteria then it is broken down into some aromatic components that produce odor or stink. Also, the sweat that is produced by the glands present in the groin and the armpits also contains some fatty acids that smell stronger and different from the sweat at the feet or palms or the face.
3. You Can Remove Toxins By Sweating
People usually believe that they can detoxify their body by sweating. But as we clarify above, sweating just removes water from the body and sweat doesn’t contain any toxins. So it is a myth that sweating removes toxins. Toxins can actually be removed by drinking lots of fluids and eating a healthy diet.
4. You Can Become Thinner By Sweating
Most people commonly think that in order to lose weight they must sweat a lot, so people usually sit in a sauna and expect to get lean and thin by the time they leave the sauna. Sweating may or may not be visible while working out and exercising, while some physical activities definitely help in losing excess weight and burning calories, but sweating doesn’t do it directly.
5. Using Deodorants Is A Bad Practice
Deodorants mask or cover the foul smell that is caused due to the mixing of sweat and bacteria. They do not interfere with the normal process of sweating. There is no harm in using perfumes or deodorants. whereas using antiperspirants can be harmful as it interferes with the normal mechanism of sweating.
Tips To Improve Body Odor
- Maintain personal hygiene and should take bath regularly.
- Use a clean towel to wipe the body and wash your towel regularly.
- Wear clean clothes, If you wear the already worn clothes, there may be residue of bacteria and sweat in it which can cause trouble.
- Wear cotton and loose clothing. This will allow air circulation between the clothes and the body and will also absorb the sweat better.
- Wear lighter colors clothes in the summer as the light color clothes reflect sunlight while dark colors absorb it.
- Eat more fresh and raw foods.
- Use mild deodorants.
Some Tips to rule out Abnormal Sweating
- Get your blood, glucose (sugar), cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly.
- Lose weight if you need to do so.
- Get your hormonal levels checked.
Sweating is a natural and normal mechanism of the body. Some people may feel embarrassed due to excessive sweating because it can produce a bad smell, and show up as wet yellow patches on the shirts. But it can be managed or controlled by using comfortable loose or cotton clothing and has bathed more than once during hot weather. Using fragrant talcs and deodorants can be of some help. But no sweating or anhidrosis is a harmful condition that means your body is retaining its heat and you can also collapse due to a heatstroke if you are not sweating, so you should consult a physician in such situations. Planet Ayurveda offers effective herbal formulations which have very good results in the no sweating or anhidrosis condition. Planet Ayurveda products are 100% pure, effective, and vegetarian. We hope the above-mentioned details about sweating will be beneficial for you. For more details of our products, you can check our website www.planetayurveda.com. For more queries, you can send your queries to our email id email@example.com.