Excess perspiration, a source of discomfort
Excess perspiration is a very common condition. It can be activated by intense emotions, stress, anxiety, physical exercise, hot climates but it can manifest itself without any apparent cause. Frequently it occurs with sudden attacks and often it worsens in summer time. Usually it is localized in the areas of higher eccrine gland concentration: palms of the hand, soles of the feet and underarms. When the condition is severe dermatological complications can result: excess perspiration can alter the skin protective barrier and foster secondary infections. Excess perspiration can cause intense mental distress due to its ability to heavily limit one’s professional and social life. At times leading to genuine anxiety, which can create a vicious cycle: excess perspiration creates anxiety and anxiety, in turn, creates profuse sweating.
Perspiration: a physiologic phenomenon
Perspiration is a physiologic phenomenon indispensable minating substances that, if not expelled, would harm the body, releases pheromones, but above all, it serves as a thermo regulator, maintaining a constant body temperature no matter what variations occur in the surrounding temperatures. Sweat is secreted by two distinct types of glands: the eccrine glands and the apocrine glands. The eccrine sweat glands are spread out over almost the entire skin surface. Mostly concentrated on the palms of the hand, the soles of the feet, underarms, forehead and chest, they produce a slightly acid colorless and odorless secretion composed of 99% water. The apocrine glands are prevalent in the underarm and perineal areas and sometimes along the mammary line. This dense and milky secretion is rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and therefore very different from eccrine sweat. In of itself odorless, once it reaches the skin surface, it is attacked by the skin’s bacteria that breakdown the sweats organic components releasing small strong smelling volatile molecules.
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