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Sweat

Also called: Perspiration 
 
 

Sweat is a clear, salty liquid produced by glands in your skin. Sweating is how your body cools itself. You sweat mainly under your arms and on your feet and palms. When sweat mixes with bacteria on your skin, it can cause a smell. Bathing regularly and using antiperspirants or deodorants can help control the odor.

Sweating a lot is normal when it is hot or when you exercise, are anxious, or have a fever. It also happens during menopause. If you often sweat too much, it's called hyperhidrosis. Causes include thyroid or nervous system disorders, low blood sugar, or another health problem.

Sweating too little, anhidrosis, can be life-threatening because your body can overheat. Causes of anhidrosis include dehydration, burns, and some skin and nerve disorders.

 

 

 
 
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Illustration of skin layers

National Institutes of Health

 

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MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.