Everyone sweats: when it’s hot, you have a job interview, during and after exercise. We can mention as many as 100 situations in which people sweat. The annoying thing about sweat and excessive perspiration is that it often happens when you don’t want it and people can smell and see it. This causes a lot of inconvenience. 63% of women say she is ashamed of her sweat. But why are we sweating? What’s the point of something so annoying? What is sweat anyway and what can you do about it? There are a few fun and useful facts under here.
Too hot to handle
Sweat is vital to the body. It causes the body to cool down when it gets too hot. You cool down because the moisture on the skin evaporates. Per 24 hours you produce about 100 to 800 ml of sweat. On very hot days you can even produce one or two liters of sweat!
We all sweat
You sweat all over your body. You have about 4 million sweat glands. Did you know that your armpit only contains 2% of all sweat glands? There are two types of sweat glands: the eccrine and the apocrine sweat glands. The eccrine gland is located all over the body and becomes active during exercise and emotion (so-called sympathetic system). Think for example of the clammy hands and/or sweat patches under the armpit during a presentation. Believe it or not, the sweat produced by the eccrine gland is virtually odorless.
There are also the apocrine sweat glands. These sweat glands are only found in a limited number of places on the body, including the armpits. The sweat produced in these glands immediately gives off an odour when leaving the sweat gland, because bacteria convert components of the sweat into substances that are easy to smell. In case of an unpleasant odour, you soon find that someone is unkempt. Besides a smell, this liquid also causes discoloration of clothing, think of the yellow stains in your white shirt.
Love is in the smell
Chances are you like the smell of your partner. Besides cooling down the body, sweat is also very important for choosing your partner. Apocrine sweat gives off a certain scent which may or may not make you unconsciously feel attracted to a person. If you like to smell him/her, this means that he/she has a different immune system than you do. This is biologically useful, because you then give your children a stronger immune system. So if you think someone stinks, your little brother for example, then you look more like each other than you think.
Human body odours provide important information about general health. Research shows that scents also tell a person’s emotional state. For example, the armpit scent of a woman undergoing social stress makes her appear stressed, less reliable, less competent and insecure. So if you live a healthy life and relax, you give off a much more positive scent.
If people sweat excessively, they may have the condition hyperhidrosis. On the other hand, there are also people who (almost) don’t sweat. They probably have the condition anhidrosis. Both conditions have different disadvantages, so be happy with the sweat you produce!
Don’t sweat it
Many people find sweat very annoying and try everything not to sweat and ‘stink’. What are the most common and effective tricks to get rid of your sweat problem?
- Deodorant, many different smells that temporarily mask your smell. One promises an even fresher smell than the other.
- Anti-perspirant, contains a chemical that reduces perspiration for a few days.
- Be careful with too many alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. These will increase your heart rate, which will make you sweat more.
- Regular shaving, hair retains heat and bacteria.
- Exercise, by a good condition you lower your heart rate, so you sweat less.
- Drink tea, if you take a lot of cold drinks to cool down, the body will stop cooling itself. So you don’t sweat anymore. As a result, when your drink is finished, your body warms up very quickly and you start sweating excessively. This has a counterproductive effect. If you drink tea (warm) you will, in the long run, sweat less. At the moment you drink tea you might sweat, but this will cool your body and make it less warm.
- Drink water, if you sweat a lot, it is very important that you drink enough water to replenish the lost moisture. If you don’t do this, you risk drying out. Try to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water one day and more if it is a hot day.
- These tricks are usually not enough. Do you want to get rid of your armpit sweat permanently? With the miraDry treatment, you’ll be rid of sweat forever.