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What Causes Sweating: Have You Ever Wondered?

Man with a towel around his neck

By Charles Poladian

Sweat happens. Even if you're the grand champion of staying cool, there will be a time where perspiration will occur. Whether it's from being sick or from working out, your body will find a way to sweat.

What Causes Sweating

Sweat glands are found in skin pores. Eccrine glands are the most common type and can be found throughout the body, though they're mostly concentrated in the hands and feet. Apocrine glands are concentrated in the armpit and groin areas. Sweat glands are more active in men than women, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Sweat is your body's central air conditioner. As your core temperature rises, you'll begin to perspire as your body attempts to cool down. That's the most obvious reason why you sweat. If you're going for a long run, hitting the gym or are spending a day at the beach on a very hot summer day, you'll sweat.

Sweat travels from the gland to the surface of the skin. The sweat on your skin eventually evaporates, which helps cool you down, says the Mayo Clinic.

Your Emotions

Heat isn't the only thing that makes you sweat. Your emotional response can also lead to perspiration. Stress can trigger sweat, something you may have noticed in the midst of trying to hit an important deadline or perhaps when you're trying really really hard to make a great first impression.

In response to any potential threat, a region of your brain sends a signal to the adrenal glands to start pumping out adrenaline and cortisol, according to the Mayo Clinic. Adrenaline can increase your heart rate, which can lead to sweat. It's part of that old flight-or-fight mechanism that gives you a jolt to escape wild predators. Nowadays, that instinct means sweating through your button-down in the middle of a presentation.

Any extreme emotion can, ultimately, lead to sweat. Anxiety, nervousness, fear and even embarrassment are all potential perspiration triggers.

Your Health

Sickness is another internal stimulus that results in a wet brow. A run-of-the-mill cold, a fever, or your body fighting an infection may be the culprit. It seems counter-intuitive when someone has the chills and is sweating at the same time, but the rising core temperature is what causes sweating.

No matter what, sweat is and always will be a part of your life.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Speed Stick products. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.