During long walks, high-intensity workouts, or a regular sunny day, have you ever felt the sensation of an insect crawling on your back? If you have, did you find any ants inside your clothes, or was it just sweat causing that sensation? It might sound silly, but in most cases, the culprit behind that trickly feeling is sweat!
No matter how much we dislike it, sweat is a natural body reaction we can't run from. Whether we spray antiperspirants or wear sweat pads, we have to bear with that stinky, inconvenient, water-like moisture on our bodies. But have any of you ever wondered why it happens or if it's good for health? If not, let's find out today.
What's sweating, and why does it happen?
According to experts, the fluid coming out of our bodies is close in composition to water, but it’s not exactly water. Beth Goldstein, a dermatologist with Central Dermatology Center in North Carolina, says sweat contains proteins, molecules, and salts like sodium which differentiate it from normal water.
Marisa Garshicke, another NYC-based dermatologist, says that people sweat for several reasons, like exercise intensity, high number of sweat glands, or excess weight. But usually, heat and emotions are the main causes of perspiration.
When our body's temperature rises, our brain signals the sweat glands to release sweat and bring that temperature to normal levels. This process is known as “thermoregulatory sweating,” and it usually occurs in the hairy areas of the body. Unlike this phenomenon, sweat released due to emotions occurs in non-hairy parts of the body, like palms. When we get nervous or excited, our body secretes the fluid, and sometimes it goes beyond the excess amounts. Sadly, it doesn’t even help the body much!
Why does sweat stink, and is it good for our health?
Many people believe that sweat stinks, but they're dead wrong. It's not the sweat that gives off a foul odor, it’s the bacteria living on our bodies. Goldstein explains that bacteria feed on the fluids released from our bodies and often excrete products that give rise to an awful smell. She stated that the parts of the body like feet, groin, and pits which come with natural folds or are mostly covered with a garment, have a bad odor unlike areas like the forearms and forehead, which are usually uncovered.
Given a choice, many of us would like to get rid of sweat, but do you know that can lead to a deadly situation? No, we aren't kidding! If our body doesn't cool down, we won't be able to stay healthy and conscious in high-temperature environments. That means you'll be in a coma for undefined hours. Starting to change your mind about sweat yet?
Can your body sweat more than required?
Usually, our body releases sweat when required, but in some cases, like hyperhidrosis, it can sweat more than necessary. If you feel your clothes are getting soggy even before giving a speech or there are huge white marks on your clothes because of sweat, maybe it's time for you to check with a doctor.