Understand the Causes of Excessive Sweating

First things first: sweating is completely normal. It’s how your body cools itself. Of course, there’s natural variation in how much different people sweat. Some people are excessive sweaters, and others have a condition called hyperhidrosis, which means they sweat more than they need to. Here, we’ll help you understand why we sweat and common causes for excessive sweating.

Why do we sweat anyway?

We need to sweat to regulate our body temperatures (it’s called thermoregulation). It’s the body’s natural cooling process. Typically, we produce perspiration in reaction to external temperature, physical movement like exercise, or feelings of anxiety or nervousness.

Our skin produces this sweat through two different types of sweat glands: eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands are found all over our bodies and produce clear, odorless sweat that is 95% water. Our apocrine glands, on the other hand, are connected to hair follicles and are concentrated in areas of the body where we have more hair, such as the armpits, scalp, and groin. These apocrine glands produce a thicker fluid which, when it reacts with bacteria on the skin, causes body odor.

"On average, we lose about one liter of water per day through our skin without even noticing."

 

On average, we all lose about one liter of water per day through our skin without even noticing. In fact, less than 1% of the sweat we produce comes from the underarm. We sweat all over the place – on our palms, our feet, our foreheads, cheeks, chests, groins, and legs.  

So what is excessive sweating?

Are you prone to sweating through your shirt? Always on the lookout for a stronger antiperspirant? You might be living with excessive sweating.

Sweating is an absolutely normal and necessary function of the human body. But, if you’re an excessive sweater, or someone with a condition called hyperhidrosis, you could be producing more perspiration than is needed – and dealing with the discomfort that comes with it.

Excessive sweating is when you sweat more than what you need to function well. It isn’t about sizzling on a hot day or drenching your shirt during strenuous exercise—it’s perspiration that happens without a trigger, and goes beyond the body’s normal cooling system.

What causes excessive sweating?

Every person has five million sweat glands distributed across their body. Most of these are eccrine glands, and they produce a clear, odorless perspiration that helps regulate body temperature. (The other kind are called apocrine glands and they produce and odourless oily type of sweat and are responsible for body odor..  For excessive sweaters, the eccrine glands in particular could be overactive – it’s like the sweat switch is always turned on for no specific reason.  

Excessive sweating can affect your whole body. And that can create some difficult situations to deal with. From having to change clothes multiple times a day, to having trouble using touchscreens and technology, to seeing your sweat soak through paperwork at school or at the office, or just avoiding handshakes or physical contact, excessive sweating comes with a whole host of challenges we know you’d rather be without.

We get it. And we're here to help. 

Dr. Sweat can help you reduce excessive sweating—and live freer, easier, and drier.

We designed Dr. Sweat Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Pads with 15% aluminum chloride. That’s the highest active level available over the counter, without a prescription.

What’s so great about it? It’s been proven in clinical tests to provide relief for 7 days. You just dab the pre-soaked pads on dry underarms before you go to bed at night. Then feel the difference for the next 7 days.

See what Dr. Sweat can do for you.