Sweating is a normal process, which takes place over the entire surface of the skin. Some areas are more active than others, as the number of sweat glands in the skin responsible for producing sweat can be denser in some areas than others.
Sweat is a watery fluid whose principle constituents are sodium chloride (salt) and urea (a waste product).
Sweating has two main purposes, firstly it allows the body's temperature to cool down, as heat is lost as the sweat evaporates, secondly it allows certain waste products to be excreted from the body.
Excessive sweating can occur during fever as the body tries to cool itself down as sweating helps to regulate body temperature. Excessive sweating can also be seen in connection with some disorders such as an over active thyroid gland disorder for example.
Some people find that they appear to sweat more than others do and it can be an embarrassing problem, this is known as Hyperhidrosis. If the thyroid gland function is normal and there is no evidence of nerve damage to the skin which is another cause of excessive sweating then sometimes no cause will be found.
Regular showers or washing with an antibacterial soap can be helpful, as can using antiperspirants containing a product called Aluminum chloride. This can be used on its own as a 20% solution of aluminum chloride hexahydrate in absolute ethyl alcohol, and applied at night to those areas worse affected such as the armpits, palms or soles of the feet.
Frequently there is an unpleasant odour associated with excessive sweating and this can be caused by bacteria or yeasts or decomposing debris on the skin. Again it is essential that the areas affected be washed frequently and try different products until you find the one that works for you.
Shaving underarm hair can help reduce the odour problem in that part. In severe cases it may be necessary to surgically excise some of the groups of glands in the armpits. Excessive sweating of the palms and soles of the feet may be associated with psychological problems; using powerful deodorants will not cure the problem you need to address the cause.
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