Sweating Is Normal and Is Actually Supposed to Be a Good Thing

Learn About the Science of Sweat

See an animated video that details how and why the body sweats.

It is natural and healthy for your body to produce some sweat

In fact, being able to cool the body through the evaporation of sweat (our own natural air-conditioning) is necessary for survival. This is especially important when you are exposed to air temperatures that are above skin temperature.

Sweat glands are activated by nerves. These nerves respond to a variety of stimuli, including:

  • Messages from the brain that the body is too hot
  • Hormones
  • Emotions
  • Physical activity or exercise

Sweat Facts:

  • There are up to 5 million sweat glands distributed throughout the human body
  • Our bodies contain 2 main types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine
    • Eccrine glands are spread out over most of our bodies and are the type of sweat gland that is most involved in hyperhidrosis
    • Apocrine glands are found only in specific areas, like the underarms and groin, and they secrete sweat through hair follicles. Sweat produced by the apocrine glands has no odor, but odor may result when these oily fluids are combined with bacteria on the surface of the skin

There's a difference between sweating and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), which is a treatable medical condition.

People who have hyperhidrosis produce more sweat than is needed to cool the body. It is believed that excessive sweating happens when sweat glands overreact to stimuli.

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In the last day, have you experienced excessive underarm sweating?

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Sweat

Assessment

How can you tell if your sweat might be due to a medical condition? Take a self-assessment questionnaire to learn more.

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