Sweat is a type of salty, clear fluid or liquid which normally occurs on palms, feet and underarms. It is produced by the sweat glands present in our skin. The fluid or water produced consists of different dissolved solids mainly chlorides, excreted by the glands in the skin.
Sweat usually contains odorants 2-methylphenol or o-cresol or chemicals and p-cresol or 4-methylphenol and small amount of urea as well. But, sweat in itself is not the cause of the body odor, but rather causes the breeding ground for the bacteria on skin which feed on the sweat.
Bacteria that live on the surface of the skin blend with the sweat and offer it a stinky smell. When a person reaches puberty, the special hormones tend to affect the sweat gland in the underarms. The glands present in the armpits make the sweat that smell. But regular washing your armpits with water and soap can keep the stinky sweat odor under control. Most adults and teens also wear antiperspirant, deodorants and sweat pads that help.
Perspiration or sweating is a normal function which cools down our body. In human beings, sweat is one essential means of thermoregulation. It allows regulating the temperature of the body. Perspiration or sweating is usually controlled from the core present in the anterior and the preoptic regions of hypothalamus in human brain. This is where the thermo-sensitive neurons are detected.
Hypothalamus basically carries forward the heat regulatory function. This is affected by the inputs from the temperature receptors present in the skin. The high skin temperature minimizes the hypothalamic set point for perspiration and also increases the gain of hypothalamic response system in reply to core temperature variations.
However, it has been proposed that three components of the male sweat may even act as the pheromonal signals. The evaporation of the sweat from the surface of the skin creates a cooling effect. However, when the perspiration or sweat mixes with the bacteria present on the skin, it causes an odor or small. Bathing regularly and using the deodorants and antiperspirants can assist to help control the smell.
There are 2 primary situations in which nerves stimulate the sweat glands, thereby causing sweat or perspiration during the physical heat and also during the emotional stress. Generally, emotionally induced perspiration remains restricted to the armpits, foot soles, palms and at times the forehead. On the other hand, the physically induced perspiration can occur all throughout your body.
Sweating is quite normal when you are anxious about anything or when you work out or when it is too hot or you have fever. Perspiration is considered normal when it occurs during menopause. But, if you tend to sweat quite often and too much then it might be due to a medical condition which is clinically known as hyperhidrosis. Nevertheless, it can also be due to the nervous system disorder or thyroid or low blood sugar or any other related health problem etc.
If you are loosing too much of water through the skin then you would require to put the liquid back by drinking lots of water so that you don’t get dehydrated. Last but not the least, too little sweat or perspiration can also be life threatening as your body tends to overhead. The major causes of anhidrosis include burns, dehydration, burns, nerve and skin disorders as well.