Sweating Is Healthy, but Are You Sweating Too Much?

I remember there was a time when I would never sweat, I was always asked do you sweat because everyone else would be sweating and I wouldn’t have a drop of sweat on me. But now that I’m older I’m making up for all the times I didn’t sweat. So let’s take a look at sweating and can you sweat to much? I did a little research and looked up an article on Real Simple for some answers.

Photo by Julia Larson on Pexels.com

We all sweat—and for good reason. The body produces sweat to help regulate body temperature, and sweating can be caused by “changes in your body temperature, the outside temperature, or your emotional state,” explains dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, MD, founder and medical director of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Ala., and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine.

“When body temperature rises due to a warm environment or physical activity, the autonomic nervous system signals eccrine sweat glands,” says New York City–based dermatologist Hadley King, MD. These glands, which are located throughout the skin, are concentrated on the palms, soles, forehead, and armpits. “When sweat is produced, it promotes heat loss through evaporation.” The result: a much cooler you. A good thing, considering that if we didn’t sweat, the body would be unable to cool itself, which can ultimately put you in danger of overheating, or worse, heatstroke.

So is it possible that the body could sweat to much and you would overheat like a car? Let’s find out.

What is excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis?

While sweating is an essential bodily function, determining a normal amount is really a you thing. People have been known to sweat as little as a single liter or as much as several liters per day, depending on their activity. When you’re dripping copious amounts of sweat, though, and it’s not tied to heat or exercise, this phenomenon, called hyperhidrosis, can certainly be an issue.

“Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a medical condition whereby the sweat glands are triggered by the nerves to produce too much sweat,” Dr. Hartman explains. There are two types: primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.

Primary focal hyperhidrosis, which Dr. Hartman says occurs typically in the armpits, hands, and feet, affects more than 15 million people in the U.S., and can understandably “be embarrassing and interfere with normal daily activities when severe,” making even the simplest tasks, like holding a pen, difficult. Excessive sweating may also be more psychologically damaging than physically damaging, adds Dr. Hartman.

So we found out that sweating is really a good thing for your body, it helps you cool down. Also you don’t want to sweat to much because then that can lead to a serious medical condition that could become embarrassing and interfere with your normal daily routine. If you think you may have Hyperhidrosis please contact your primary care physician.

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