We may not like it, but we all sweat. Sweating is natural. Sweating is healthy. It’s only when our sweat becomes excessive and hinders our abilities to do things that it becomes a problem.
Why do we sweat? Sweating is the body’s way to cool itself. It’s essential for us to sweat to survive. Our sweat glands are activated when the body is hot, from hormones, from stress/emotions, and from exercise or strenuous physical activity.
As a hyperhidrosis specialist and surgeon, I would like to share with you some facts about sweat and sweating.
- There are 2 to 5 million sweat glands throughout the body.
- The human body has two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine.
- Eccrine glands are found all over the body – these are the glands associated with hyperhidrosis.
- Apocrine glands are found in specific areas like the armpits or groin.
- Sweat that comes from the apocrine glands doesn’t have an odor, but odor usually occurs when oily fluids are combined with bacteria on the skin.
- Women have more sweat glands than men.
- Men’s sweat glands produce more sweat than women’s sweat glands.
- Some people’s sweat is salty. If your sweat tastes salty or leaves white streaks on your skin or clothes, talk to a doctor.
- During intense exercise, an athletic person can sweat 2 to 6 percent of their body weight off.
- Sweat is made up of water, salt, and potassium. Sweat caused by stress is released by a different gland and is made up of fatty acids and proteins.
- Sweat contains dermcidin, which is an antibiotic peptide that regulates bacterial growth on the skin.
- If your sweat is red, you have hematohidrosis, which is when blood vessels rupture into the sweat glands. This is rare, but yes, this means you are sweating blood.
- You can sweat blue, orange, or other colors — this is called chromhidrosis. This is also quite rare and can be treated.
- A person’s sweat is unique like a fingerprint because it’s a blend of 307 compounds unique to the person.
Sweating is normal, but if you’re sweating excessively, you should get it treated. Make an appointment with a doctor who can determine the cause of your excessive sweating and treat you, so you can get back to living life without worrying about your sweat. There are many hyperhidrosis treatment options.
Dr. Peter Mikhail is a Tampa hyperhidrosis physician and surgeon with offices in Tampa and New Port Richey, Florida. To book a consult, click our Tampa hyperhidrosis contact page or call 727-312-4844.