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Alternative Names Return to topPerspiration
Definition Return to top
Sweating is the release of a salty liquid from the body's sweat glands. This process is also called perspiration.
Sweating is an essential function that helps your body stay cool. Sweat is commonly found under the arms, on the feet, and on the palms of the hands.
Considerations Return to top
How much you sweat depends on how many sweat glands you have. A person is born with about two to four million sweat glands. The glands start to become fully active during puberty. Women have more sweat glands then men, but men's glands are more active.
Because sweating is the body's natural way of regulating temperature, people sweat more when it's hot outside. People also sweat more when they exercise, or in response to situations that make them nervous, angry, embarrassed, or afraid.
Excessive sweating may also be a symptom of menopause.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
After sweating, you should:
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Contact your health care provider if sweating is accompanied by:
These symptoms may indicate a problem, such as hyperthyroidism or infection.
Also call your health care provider if:
References Return to top
Saper CB. Autonomic disorders and their management. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 445.Update Date: 5/3/2009 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.