Sweaty, Smelly, Sticky Skin: What Causes Perspiration and How to reduce it?

For some people, sweating can be a real problem. Not everyone perspire in equal quantity and in the same areas. For those who sweat profusely, it can quickly become very uncomfortable when placed in social situations. What causes these variations from one individual to another, and how can we protect ourselves from over perspiring?

We Are All Born Equal

First, let’s keep in mind that sweating is simply part of the way our body functions. Think of a computer or a car that could not let the heat out: Their motor would burst due to temperatures that would rise too high. Sweat is the result of how our body cooling down our engine and it does so through our sweat glands as it regulates our body temperature. The principle is simple: When it gets too hot inside, it lets the sweat out.

All humans are born with the same number of sweat glands. They only end-up fully developed by the time we get around to two years old. Right away, the use of these glands will vary from one individual to another. The first element causing this disparity is the environment the kid grows in. If he is raised in a colder country, chances are he’ll use his glands a lot less than in a warmer climate. And as we get older, only a part of our sweat glands will be able to perspire, which will be different from one individual to another.

The Scent of Sweat

Most people are under the false impressions that sweat smells. The truth is there is absolutely no scent to the liquid our body lets out. It is odourless and colorless. But in certain areas of our body, namely the armpits and around our genitals, it is the apocrine glands which produce the sweat. These particular glands are rich in fatty substance, something the bacteria Corynebacterium and other ones particularly enjoy. It is because they happen to mix with our sweat that its smell can be strong.

Some of our Sweat is caused by our Nervous System

People who are more nervous than others will tend to sweat more. That’s because we possess eccrine sweat glands which are directly linked to our nervous system. When anxiety rises, some people will start sweating from their foreheads but also from their hands and feet. This type of over sweating is scientifically called hyperhidrosis. Although it can start at any point in one’s life, it pops-up more frequently around the teenage years. Some will never get rid of it while others will have seen the phenomenon reduce itself over the years and even disappear in some cases.

What Are the Reasons which can cause People to Perspire More than Average?

There are quite a few possibilities when it comes to explaining why someone sweats more than the norm. The first group of reasons is heredity, gender and age. Usually, people from the same family will perspire more or less in the same quantity, but it will also depend on their age and their sex. Kids and elders tend to sweat a lot less than teenagers and adults. After that, you also have to take in account that the female body’s temperature is higher than a man, which explains in part why they sweat less. However, during the menopause, a woman will often be hit by heat waves that will cause sudden and strong perspiration periods.

The second group of reasons which can cause heavy perspiration is made by external factors which are fatigue, anxiety and stress. We’ve explained before how some of our glands are directly linked to our nervous system, which explains this reaction by some of our body parts. It’s a faulty signal from our brain, caused by the anxiety which explains why the body confuses stress with overheating. That clearly shows how powerful stress is and how it affects our whole entire being. When it comes to being overly tired, it also sends a similar signal from the brain, starting the chain reaction all over again.

Finally, the third group which can cause perspiring profusely is made of various diseases. In this case, although it is more serious, it can also be treated by taking care of the disease itself. Here is a list of some of the health issues which can ensue in augmenting the level of sweat secreted by our body: Acute allergic attack, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, lung embolus and pneumonia.

Is There a Way to Reduce Perspiration?

The answer to this question is easy to predict. First, you should let your body cool down the way it knows how, in all situations, when it needs to. However, if the cause of your extreme perspiration is anxiety and stress, then you need to start finding ways to handle these in a matter that will calm you down. If you are able to relax, your body will automatically reduce your level of sweating. And if you are too tired; catch-up on some sleep!