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Sweating

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Overview

A body has between two and four million sweat glands lying deep in the skin. They are connected to the surface by coiled tubes called ducts. You perspire constantly, even without exercise. Sweat is a liquid made from 99% water and 1% salt and fat. Up to a quart of sweat evaporates each day.

When your body becomes overheated, you sweat more. The evaporation of sweat from your skin cools your body down.

When you're frightened or nervous (imagine being pinned under heavy weights) you also sweat more. Your palms and forehead begin to sweat. So do the soles of your feet and your armpits. These are sites where sweat glands are most abundant.

Review Date 5/10/2019

Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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