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Sweating: What's Normal, What's Not

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Kanu Verma 90% (334ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi  •  19years experience
Sweating: What's Normal, What's Not

Sweating is a normal and natural phenomenon, which all human beings experience. When the weather conditions are humid or if you have walked for a long duration in the sun, sweat is bound to appear. Some people sweat much more than the normal rate. If you belong to this category, some questions may come to your mind like whether is it abnormal? What can be a possible remedy? Here are some facts you must know about sweating.

1. Sweating is a natural phenomenon, and everyone sweats
It is a normal function of the human body. It involves releasing of fluids from our sweat glands present in the skin. The body maintains its temperature by means of perspiration. Sweating may make you feel uncomfortable,but performs the important cooling function of the body. Composed of water, sugar, salts and ammonia, sweat does not have any smell of its own. The unpleasant smell produced from your skin is a result of sweat mixing with bacteria.

2. The rate of perspiration varies from person to person
If you find yourself to be sweating more than normal people around you, it's natural for you to get concerned. However, do not worry because there is nothing unnatural. Some people produce more amount of sweat than others and that is completely natural. The rate just varies from person to person.

3. Overreaction of sweat glands leads to hyperhidrosis
Some people have sweat glands, which are so over reactive and over productive that they actually suffer from the disease hyperhidrosis. People having this disease sweat abnormally. The rate of perspiration is very severe. There is no such cure for hyperhidrosis. The only permanent solution to fix this disorder is by surgery where the nerves to the sweat glands are cut off.

4. Sweating is psychological in nature
The process of sweating is carried out by the sympathetic nervous system. Once it is stimulated, more sweat is produced. Although it may seem weird, thinking of sweating can lead to more sweating in individuals.

5. Nausea leads to increased sweating
Nausea or motion sickness is another reason, which accounts for increased perspiration. Nausea stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which in return produces additional sweat.

6. Sweating can be delayed at times
Suppose you are climbing up a staircase, but surprisingly you notice that even after going up five flight of stairs, there is no sweat. The sweating appears a little later and is quite intense. This is because your body takes some time to react to the thermoregulation which takes place.

Sweating is a very uncomfortable and irritating phenomenon, but it is actually helpful to the body.

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