Don't Sweat It

Essay by lvdude2008College, UndergraduateA+, March 2010

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We all have faced this troubling reality. We sweat. It’s bothersome, it’s unpleasant, and it can be quite smelly. But is there a purpose behind all the discomfort that sweat can cause? Through personal experience and research, I will help you find the answer to this question. We can appreciate God’s handiwork in our body, while we understand why we sweat, how we sweat, and how it can be controlled.

So why do we sweat? We sweat mainly to cool our body. According to the Food and Drug Administration, sweat is not a significant route for eliminating toxins from our body. Other factors increase sweat production such as: emotions, physical activity, and heat. If you ever get to live in a hot climate, you will sweat anywhere from two to three liters of sweat per hour. In one day, you would fill up this container with sweat.

Now that we know why we sweat, we will understand how we sweat.

First, the sweat glands are stimulated. The sweat glands are found in the epidermis layer of the skin. The sweat gland is a hollow coil tube of cells. Sweat is produced in this coiled section. We have two kinds of sweat glands, eccrine and apocrine. The eccrine sweat glands are found all over our body, they are the most numerous, and they produce the most sweat in our underarms. The apocrine sweat glands are different, because they produce proteins and fatty acids and they are not found all over the body, but they are found in the underarms. After stimulation, the sweat gland produces sweat fluid. Now we must know that this sweat fluid is odorless. Many of you are probably wondering where the unmistakable odor come from? We will be able to answer this question in just a moment. After the fluid is produced, it travels to the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, through the sweat bact. Once it reaches the epidermis, two things can happen. Sweat must evaporate to cool our body and that is where the unpleasant odor is produced. It is produced by bacteria that lies on our skin and then breaks up the proteins and the fatty acids that the apocrine sweat glands produce.

Now that we understand why we sweat and how we sweat, what can we do to control it? We can do three things: washing, deodorant, and antiperspirant. According to Dr. Kenzo Sato, professor of dermatology at the University of Iowa, the most basic way to hold body odor at bay is to scrub yourself with soap and water, particularly in those areas of the body that are most likely to smell. We can also use deodorants. According to the Food and Drug Administration of the United States, deodorants are cosmetics because they simply cover the smell or attack the bacteria. You can find either commercial or natural deodorants. According to, you should choose deodorants with natural healthy ingredients such as baking soda. The third method is antiperspirants. Now we must know that antiperspirants are not as effective as many of you might think, and they do not completely eliminate sweat. Antiperspirants reduce only about twenty percent of sweat production. The FDA regulates that antiperspirants are drugs, because they do alter by function. Antiperspirants’ active ingredient is aluminum. When you apply antiperspirant, aluminum ions are absorbed into the cells, and as the aluminum ions are absorbed, water is also absorbed as well. Cells absorb more and more water and they gradually squeeze the cell duct closed, because the cells are growing. As they reach their limit on the water that they can absorb, they start to release that water into the bloodstream. As they release it, they swell down and the sweat duct opens again, which is why we must reapply antiperspirant. According to, research shows that aluminum builds up in the body over time, creating an increased health hazard as people get older. However, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a direct link to disease and the use of antiperspirant has not been determined yet. As you have seen in this speech, there are many correct assumptions that we have had about sweat. Sweat is not the soul culprit for present body odor. If there are no bacteria present, there will be no unpleasant odor. Antiperspirants are not as effective and as risk-free as you might have thought. Aluminum from antiperspirant products is absorbed by the skin and it is a neurotoxin. My suggestion is that you try to most natural method possible such as clean thoroughly and frequent showers. So, is there a purpose behind sweat? There is a very important purpose, to cool our body. If we didn’t sweat we could die from a heat stroke or heat exhaustion. It is necessary for us to live, and for that reason, sweat is a definite blessing.

Works Cited12 Ways to Feel Fresh and Clean. Retrieved April 18, 2009, from The Doctors Book of Home Remedies Web site: Retrieved April 14, 2009, from Web site: and Testing for Heavy Metal Poisioning and Toxicity. Retrieved April 14, 2009, from Detoxamin Web site:, Carol (July-August 2005). Antiperspirant Awareness: It's Mostly No Sweat. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from Web site:, Julie (2006 February 26). Natural Deodorants and Antiperspirants. Retrieved April 16, 2009, from Green Living Ideas Web site: