Despite its bad reputation, there are actually some benefits to sweat. Here’s what you need to know about perspiration.
We have sweat glands everywhere except for our lips, nails, and ears – between two and five million of them. We also produce around 280 gallons of perspiration each year, with men producing 40% more than their female counterparts.
Some people – an estimated 15.3 million in the United States – have overactive sweat glands. This is a condition known as hyperhidrosis. There are several treatment options for this, from iontophoresis, which uses electricity, to Botox injections.
Sweating isn’t something that happens only when our body temperatures rise. It is also commonly experienced when we are nervous. Heat-related perspiration is made up of salt, potassium, and water. When it is related to anxiety, it comes from different glands and contains fatty acids and proteins. This type is more prone to causing BO as it doesn’t evaporate as quickly, giving it more time to come into contact with odor-causing bacteria.
To prevent odor caused by perspiration, shower after exercise or breaking a sweat. Applying antiperspirants can help and there are also over-the-counter options available for heavy sweaters. These work by absorbing into the skin and forming temporary superficial ‘plugs’ that signal to your body to stop the flow. While some people are hesitant to use these formulas because of concerns they might lead to breast cancer, there is no scientific evidence to back up this link. As such, they are considered safe to use.
Remember that when you are sweating, you are losing fluids. It’s important that you replace them by drinking sufficient water and staying hydrated.
Do you sweat excessively and are concerned or embarrassed about the problem? Click here to schedule an appointment with an APDerm provider near you.