If you are a sweater, hyperhidrosis treatments at our Melbourne clinic may loom on the horizon – neuromodulators, radiofrequency, high-octane anti-perspirants.
Sweat is an unappreciated element of our body’s functioning, often derided and complained about. While you’re having your armpits zapped, here are some reasons to love the rest of your sweat. We love our hyperhidrosis treatments so you can be less sweaty, but we also love sweat! It’s an amazing part of our biology.
#1. Sweat is 99 per cent water
This is probably not a surprise, but it’s the one per cent that’s left over that’s pretty incredible. It contains odours, salts, and other molecules and compounds that sends out signals while it helps cool us down.
#2. Sweat contains an antibiotic.
You may complain that sweat stinks, actually sweat has its own antibiotic peptide, dermcidin, that helps keep your skin bacterial colonies healthy. Deodorants and anti-perspirants can make your armpits smell even more, even after washing, because the bacterial colonies are disrupted, allowing the proliferation of not-so-lovely bacteria. Hyperhidrosis treatments at our Melbourne clinic definitely solve this problem, since you just about wouldn’t have to wear anti-perspirant or deodorant afterwards.
#3. Men are sweater than women.
You probably knew this one, but men do sweat more than women overall. This means hyperhidrosis treatments are successful for men and women equally.
#4. We sweat less as we get older.
It’s not clear why this happens, but it is possibly because the skin reduces in function as we get older, meaning that everything in the skin – like sweat glands – also works less efficiently.
#5. Sweating can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Those with eczema – or skin that is broken down in some way – can experience an allergic reaction to a fungal protein found in sweat.
#6. Horse sweat lathers because of latherin.
Horse sweat has to get past the waterproof, oily pelt to keep horses cool, and so horse sweat contains a protein called latherin.
#7. Hippos have red sweat.
A hippopotamus has red sweat that acts not only as a sunscreen, but as an antibiotic. Crafty!
#8. A human disease can cause you to sweat blood.
A rare disease called hematohidrosis can result in blood vessels bursting and running into sweat glands, so when you sweat, you sweat diluted blood. Yuck!
#9. A human disease can cause you to sweat out a rainbow.
Chromhidrosis can cause you to sweat multiple colours, like blue or orange. The cause of this rainbow fest of sweat is unknown, unless a medication can be blamed.
#10. Sick people’s sweat smells different.
This is because our bodies excrete whatever we produce on the inside, and when we’re sick, we produce different molecules to when we are healthy. This makes our sweat smell different.
#11. Your emotions dictate what your sweat is made up of.
Any strong emotion, particularly fear, changes the composition of your sweat. Experiments were carried out with people watching scary movies, with their sweat being collected on pads. Afterwards, other participants (not the researchers) could identify which pads were used in the scary movies, versus the non-scary movies. People have always talked about ‘smelling fear’, and as it turns out, it’s really a thing.
#12. Vegetarians smell better.
Vegans and vegetarians have been making this claim for some time, but science has eventually caught up, testing the odours of meat-eating men and non-meat-eating men. Women were asked to judge the odours, with vegetarian men being voted as the best smelling. This is likely due to the bacterial fermentation in our intestines, with different bacteria thriving in meat or vegetarian diets. Bacteria are responsible for almost every smell.
#13. Your scent is unique.
Everyone’s sweat has a unique collection of molecules in it that mark it as yours. The unique blend of nearly 400 compounds stays steady.