What is sweat? Is sweating good for people? How do we sweat? What is sweat made of, sweating information.
Sweat; is the clear liquid produced by the sweat glands. Sweating is a vital body function, serving to eliminate certain body wastes and acting as a temperature regulating mechanism. As sweat evaporates it cools the skin and the blood vessels near the skin surface.
There are two types of sweat glands: apocrine and eccrine. The apocrine are larger than the eccrine and are located only in the armpits, ears, nipples, and sex organs. These are the glands primarily associated with body odor. There are many more eccrine glands than apocrine. It is estimated that each person has about a million eccrine glands. They occur throughout the body but are most numerous on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. During childhood the eccrine glands begin to produce sweat. The apocrine glands become active in adolescence and gradually diminish in activity with advancing age.
As it is produced, sweat is odorless and contains about 98% water and 2% chemicals. These chemicals are sodium chloride (salt), fatty acids, urea, sulfates, albumin, and skatole. The characteristic odor of sweat is caused by the breakdown, or decompostion, of the sweat by bacteria. To eliminate the sweaty odor, frequent bathing is important, preferably with a soap containing hexachlorophene. This chemical acts as an antiseptic to prevent the decomposition of sweat. Some individuals use an antiperspirant, a preparation containing a 25% concentration of the astringent aluminum chlorhydrate. This chemical constricts the opening of the sweat glands, preventing the free flow of sweat.
The rate of sweating is related to several factors. It is increased by strenuous physical activity or by nervous or emotional tension. An abnormally low production of sweat occurs in certain congenital skin diseases, including ichthyosis and atopic dermatosis.