Why We Sweat? Causes for an Increased Perspiration
Perspiration cools and protects the skin
Perspiration fulfils two functions:
- Regular humidification prevents the skin from getting chapped and fissured.
Sweat regulates the body temperature. When evaporating, it is providing a cooling effect on the skin. High temperatures as well as physical effort make the body react with increased sweating.
Causes for an increased perspiration
Frequent causes for increased sweating can be due to external factors (physiological) or can be of a pathological nature.
- Physiological (perspiration underlying external factors)
- Pathological (perspiration being of pathological nature)
Perspiration to a certain extent is normal. However, relief can be found concerning increased sweating. Various methods of treatment are available.
Causes for the body odor
The typical odor of sweat does not result from the sweat itself, but rather from the secretions of the bacteria decomposing the sweat. Substances such as butyric acid are responsible for strong odor, and are being produced in this process. Taking a shower or bathing improves the situation momentarily. Using a deodorant, which restrains the reproduction of these bacteria, also helps temporarily. However, in order to be able to stop the perspiration effectively, alternative methods like for instance antiperspirants have to be used.
Today it is known that men and women produce different bacteria responsible for the smell of perspiration. The intensity of this body odor differs from person to person. Some people however, suffer from a tangy odor of sweat, also called bromhidrosis.