Sweat and odour
Sweat and odour
Sweat is a natural and important bodily function. It regulates body temperature by cooling the skin to avoid overheating.
There are two causes for sweat – environmental and emotional. We often sweat when we are physically active or when we are in a hot environment. Sweat can also occur when we are emotionally affected by professional or personally stressful situations, such as job interviews, presentations or exams. Sweat can also triggered by the hormonal changes associated with puberty and menopause.
Sweat itself is odourless – it is a solution that is primarily made up of water and salt. On average we have 1.6 to 4 million sweat glands all over our body and can produce up to 1 litre of sweat every day. Sweat often evaporates as quickly as it is produced. However, in situations where we are particularly active or in a hot environment, we can sweat up to 10 times a normal day’s production.
Body odour is caused by bacteria on the surface of the skin as it breaks down the components of the sweat.
Antiperspirants vs. deodorants
Deodorants do not stop sweat. Instead they are designed to temporarily neutralise the smell or odour from the bacteria living on the skin. Many deodorants contain fragrance, which serves to mask bad odour.
Antiperspirants are different in that they are specifically formulated to decrease or even halt the production of perspiration in the sweat glands. Once antiperspirant is applied, a temporary plug is formed in the sweat duct to stop the sweat being released. This temporary plug is naturally dispelled over the next few days as part of the skin’s natural shedding.
For some, a deodorant is enough but others need a little more protection. An effective antiperspirant such as Perspirex is the solution to significantly minimise both sweat and odour.
Sweat is produced by sweat glands. We have millions of sweat glands all over our body and they can be divided in to two types:
- Apocrine sweat glands which are present in the hair follicle, such as the armpit area
- Eccrine sweat glands are found on the surface of the skin, all over the body
Apocrine sweat glands are mainly found in areas associated with hair growth. These glands are activated during puberty and may have a strong odour due to the skin’s natural bacterial flora. Eccrine sweat glands are the most abundant sweat glands and they are found in most areas of the body, with the greatest concentration on the hands and soles of the feet.
Did you know that almost a third of people experience problem perspiration daily?
Excessive sweating is common and can happen to anyone at any time. Those suffering from excessive sweating often adopt common corrective behaviours, such as avoiding shaking hands or raising their arms.
There are also those who don’t suffer daily but often find themselves in stressful situations where sweat can become an embarrassing problem. Do I smell? Does it show? These people often worry about the possibility of others discovering their problem.
Excessive sweating can range from moderate moisture to the severe, resulting in large sweat patches on clothing; damp and smelly feet; or clammy and wet hands. It is a common problem that can affect anybody at any time in their life, however hormonal changes such as puberty and menopause are often a trigger.