Is sweating healthy?
The primary function of sweating is the regulation of body temperature. Sweat glands are stimulated when one is exposed to hot, exercise, or intensive stress, leading to sweat production. Sweating removes water and minerals, mainly sodium, from the body. This leads to reduction in body temperature and rebalances the mineral content. Thus sweating is actually very healthy. However, excessive sweating may be a sign of psychological or social problems as well as some medical conditions.
Every adult has approximately 2 to 5 million sweat glands, which are found in almost every part of our body, except for some areas. Some of these glands, particularly those in hands, face, and plantar surface of the feet, secrete sweat without smell. Others in armpits and genital areas, secrete a more viscous and smelly sweat.
When do we sweat?
Sweating occurs as a result of the action of our autonomic nervous system, which also unconsciously regulates body functions such as the heart and respiratory rate. Emotional or physical activity, hormones, and other factors that increase the internal temperature stimulate this system. Sweat glands of the hands and feet are more likely to be activated with emotional stimulation such as stress, excitement, anxiety, or nervousness. Sweat glands of the armpits are stimulated both by emotional factors and temperature. Excessively high ambient temperature or physical activities associated with significant calorie loss lead to more pronounced sweating, as do the strong emotional triggers such as fear, embarrassment, or anger.
Daily volume of sweat is 100 cc on average. With excessive exercise or heat, this may be increased up to 1.5 liter per hour. Also, excessive sweating may be a sign of a wide number of medical conditions including cardiac disease, thyroid disease, or psychiatric conditions.
What is the reason for bad sweat smell?
Sweat contains substances such as water, sodium, chloride, potassium, and urea. Increase in the amount of inorganic molecules in the sweat may lead to occurrence of bad smell. In fact, when you sweat, you also feed the bacteria that reside on your skin. These bacteria lead to the bad smell.
Is sweating unpleasant?
Sweating is a natural and healthy process leading to toxin removal. However excessive sweating is certainly unpleasant, with negative physical, social, or psychological impact on the sufferer. Many people with excessive sweating feel the urge to leave a public service vehicle, avoid from holding their arms or having physical contact with others. This may undermine the self-confidence in social life. Anticipation of sweating in front of others leads to further sweating due to stress.
How can bad sweat odor be prevented?
Bad sweat odor is a result of the increased bacterial activity in the armpit. Sweat, when initially secreted, is clear and odorless. However, once it contacts with bacteria the bad odor develops. An antiperspirant with anti-bacterial properties should be used to prevent the bad smell. These products regulate sweating, so that less sweat fluid is in contact with bacteria. In turn, less bad smell is produced.