Sweating: Causes, Conditions, Complications & Treatment


Sweating is also known as perspiration or diaphoresis. It is the production of fluids that is secreted by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals. It is a normal body function which helps to regulate the body temperature. Excessive or no diaphoresis at all both can be the possible medical issues. Changes in the body temperature, the weather temperature, and the emotional state can cause the sweating. Normal amounts of sweating are an important bodily process. The absence of sweating can be harmful as it increases the risks of overheating. There are two types of sweat glands that can be found in humans and they are:

  1. Eccrine glands
  2. Apocrine glands

The common sweating areas of the human body are:

  1. Armpit
  2. Head
  3. Face
  4. Sole of feet
  5. Palms of the hands
  6. Back of the body

Causes of sweating

It occurs regularly in the daily living. However, there are still different causes which can increase perspiration:

  • High temperature: High environmental temperature is the primary cause of increased sweating.
  • Emotions and stress: Emotions like anger, embarrassment, fear, anxiety and emotional stress can increase sweating.
  • Foods: Foods also can be responsible for sweating and this type is called gustatory sweating. Hot and spicy foods, coffee and alcoholic beverages can cause diaphoresis in the human body.
  • Medications and illness: Illness and medication use can also cause diaphoresis. An illness like cancer, infection, fever, low blood sugar levels, synthetic thyroid syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome can cause sweating. Painkillers and fever-reducing drugs can also cause sweating.
  • Menopause: Menopause it related to the hormonal fluctuations which can also trigger diaphoresis. Those women who have menopause often experience night sweats.
  • Physical exertion or exercise: Physical exertion is the activity of keeping muscles fit in various ways, it can be by doing regular exercise, running or maybe dancing. So during physical exertion the temperature of the body increases, which relatively causes in diaphoresis.

Complications of sweating

There are some complications which can be occurred due to excessive diaphoresis. It can occur with some other symptoms and if it happens then the person should be taken to visit the doctor as soon as possible. Some of the complications are listed below:

  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Continued sweating for a longer period of time without any cause
  • Nail infections
  • Warts
  • Bacterial infections
  • Heat rash
  • Psychological impact

Conditions of sweating

There are a few conditions which result in either excessive perspiration or in the absence of perspiration.

  1. Hyperhidrosis: It is a condition of excessive perspiration in the whole body. This kind of condition can be quite embarrassing. It may demoralize people and get social with others.
  2. Anhidrosis: It is a condition of the absence of sweat. Sweat helps in regulating the temperature of the body.
  3. Focal hyperhidrosis: It is also a condition of excessive perspiration, but in certain parts of the body like armpits, palms, feet, face or groin.
  4. Hidromeiosis: It is also a condition of the absence of sweat because of blockages of sweat glands in humid conditions.

Treatment of excessive sweating

Sweating in a normal amount generally does not need medical treatment. For excessive sweating we can take steps to minimize the sweating and make yourself comfortable:

  • Wearing light clothes which allow our skin to breathe.
  • Washing dried sweat of the face and body for optimum comfort.
  • Changing the sweaty clothes in order to reduce the risk of bacterial or yeast infections.
  • Drinking more water or sports drinks to replace fluids and electrolytes that are lost through sweating.
  • Application of an underarm antiperspirant or deodorant which helps to reduce odor and control sweating.
  • Avoiding those foods which increase the perspiration.
  • Wearing socks that are better at absorbing the moisture and made of natural fibers.

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