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SWEAT FACTS

Perspiration

  • Another word for perspiration is diaphoresis.
  • Sweat or perspiration consists of water, salt, potassium and waste materials.
  • When we sweat excessively, salts – which are normally re-absorbed and recycled by our body – can escape via the sweat glands.

Sweat – what is it?

  • Sweating is the excretion of moisture that is produced in special organs in the skin, i.e. the sweat glands.

You have two types of sweat glands

  • Eccrine glands:
    There are between 2 and 5 million of these spread across your whole body.
    These glands are responsible for regulating your body temperature. When you have a fever, these glands cool the body.
    There are some 25,000 eccrine glands in your armpit.
    The moisture excreted by these glands is an odourless saline solution containing waste materials.
  • Apocrine glands:
    These are created during adolescence by sex hormones.
    These glands are located in the armpits, nipples and the sexual organs.
    The sweat comes out of capillary vessels.
    This is the sweat that you can smell, because the sweat on the skin is broken down and comes into contact with bacteria.
     

Cold sweat

  • Emotional sweating:
    First you become very warm and the blood goes to your cheeks, then a bit later more blood is circulated to other parts of the body, such as the heart and the lungs. You then become cold and break out into a clammy sweat.
    With men, this often happens during job interviews, first dates, and the first time they meet their parents-in-law.
    With women this generally happens during job interviews and when reverse parking
  • Sweating physically:
    In the case of physical sweat, it takes some time for the body to start cooling down.

    On average, you produce 5 times more emotional sweat than physical sweat.

The smell of sweat

  • The smell is influenced by what you eat. For example, garlic and spices give off strong odours.
  • Clean and fresh natural clothing (e.g. cotton) prevents unpleasant odours.
  • Smell of ammonia caused by physical activity like sports:
    If you’re in poor physical shape, you’ll start sweating once your body temperature reaches 37.2 degrees.
    If you’re in good shape, you won’t sweat until your body temperature reaches 37.7 degrees.
    People who regularly engage in sports have bigger and more active sweat glands.

Hyperhidrosis (excessive perspiration

  • Hyperhidrosis is caused by over-active eccrine glands.
    These can be found throughout the body, but particularly in the armpits, hands and the soles of your feet.
    Hormone imbalance, excess weight, and blood circulation imbalance are often the cause.
  • In the Netherlands between 150,000 and 500,000 people suffer from hyperhidrosis.
  • There are a number of different treatments, with 1-2DRY underarm pads offering the most user-friendly solution

Other facts

  • 80% of the Dutch population use a deodorant on a daily basis.
  • You do not sweat continuously, but a little every now and then. Small quantities of sweat are excreted about six or seven times a minute.
  • Just 1% of all perspiration moisture originates from your armpits. Because this part of the body is so badly ventilated, it evaporates less quickly than in other parts of your body. And that's why it seems as though you sweat most under your armpits.
  • Are you left-handed? Then you will sweat more under your left armpit.
  • Sweat glands are found all over the body, except on the nails, ears and lips.
  • You sweat more under your arms when you're standing up than if you're sitting or lying down.
  • Every day your sweat glands excrete 750cl of moisture on average. If you take part in intense physical activity or if the weather is extremely hot, you perspire more. This can be as much as 10 litres a day!