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UNDERSTANDING SWEAT & BODY ODOR

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Sweating is the body’s built-in mechanism for regulating its temperature and keeping cool. When your body begins to overheat, such as during exercise, when you are in a hot environment, or even when you’re in a stressful situation, sweat is released from the pores of your skin. Your body loses heat as the sweat evaporates into the air.

Temperature regulation is so important, that the body has a highly efficient system built for the task- between two and four million sweat glands that cover the entire body.

There are two types of sweat glands:
Eccrine sweat glands and Apocrine sweat glands

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Eccrine Glands


The Eccrine glands, which are associated with excessive sweating, cover most of the body and are concentrated on the palms, the forehead, the soles of the feet and in the armpits. These glands secrete a clear, odorless fluid made up mostly of water and sodium, along with chloride and potassium. The body loses heat when the fluid evaporates into the air, leaving the salts and minerals behind on the skin (this is why sweat can have a salt

Apocrine Glands


The Apocrine glands, which are associated with body odor, are located in areas where there is a high concentration of hair follicles, such as the scalp, the genital region and the armpits. The purpose of these glands is to secrete an oily fluid that decreases skin friction. This fluid is thick and made up of proteins, fats and carbs- a menu that is especially palatable to bacteria residing on the skin. When bacteria feed on this fluid, an unpleasant smell is produced, otherwise known as body odor.

Both the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands are activated by the nervous system in a variety of situations. For example, when the brain detects that the body is too hot or when the body releases hormones associated with certain emotions (such as fear, excitement or anxiety). In people who experience excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands either overreact in these situations or are simply over active in general, producing more sweat than what’s needed to cool the body. People with hyperhidrosis can produce up to four or five times more sweat than normal.



If you suffer from excessive sweating or strong body odor,
read on to find out what you can do about it…