Know Your Body: Sweat Glands

Sweating is a necessary evil, the roots of which are secreted discretely below.

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Sweaty-Sweaty Sweat-Sweat
On average, humans sweat out approximately 278 gallons of sweat each year. We can’t sweat on our ears, lips and nails, but everywhere else on our body is capable of sweating. Women have more sweat glands than men, despite men actually producing more sweat overall. Sweat itself doesn’t smell, though: That whiff of B.O. is instead produced by the bacteria that feed on your sweat.

Right Hair, Right Now
Hair-producing areas like your armpits and your groin—which both tend to produce more sweat because of poor ventilation—are particularly prone to lousy smells because they’re home to large populations of apocrine sweat glands. These glands produce a kind of oily  sweat that’s beloved by bacteria due to its high protein content, and the more bacteria present, the stronger the smell. It also gets worse if you let the hair in these areas grow wild, since the fur further traps this sweat, creating a swampy environment that allows the stink-producing bacteria to thrive.

Don’t Be A Drip
Sweating wasn’t designed by Mother Nature to embarrass us at barbecues and at spicy food restaurants: It exists to help us regulate our temperature, cooling us down as it evaporates off our skin. There is such a thing as sweating too much though, which is known as hyperhidrosis (i.e., overactive sweat glands). About one percent of the UK population are believed to suffer from this damp condition.