Why You Shouldn’t Be Embarrassed About Sweat

Why you shouldn't be embarrassed about sweating

Sweat is normal.

If you ever feel like you’re sweating nonstop, that’s because everyone is sweating all of the time. When King John signed the Magna Carta, he was sweating. When Einstein came up with the Theory of Relativity, he was sweating. Right now, writing this piece, I’m sweating - and so are you.

Perspiration is the body’s main way to regulate body heat, and it’s running 24/7. We tend to relate sweat to things like physical activity or nerves. But in reality, our bodies’ processes are giving off heat all the time, even our metabolism heats up our body. To combat this, we perspire as our built-in thermoregulation system.

The average adult human can sweat up to 2-4 liters/hour. At that rate, you could fill a bathtub in just over 3 days!


Why Doesn’t It Seem Like Everyone is Sweaty?

If everyone is always sweating, why don’t they seem sweaty all of the time? How much you perspire correlates to how much your body needs to thermoregulate. Most of the time the rate you sweat is small enough that it evaporates off your skin before it forms visible beads.

In extreme temperatures, nerve-racking events, or during physical exertion, however, your body can severely overheat. In response, your body kicks into gear, increasing perspiration to keep you safe and healthy. This is your body going from a more passive-sweating mode to an active one.

Consider a dog. Panting is their best method for thermoregulation, but they aren’t panting all the time. Usually, their more passive thermoregulation methods, such as the sweat glands in their footpads and ear canals can handle regulation. After playing hard on a hot day, however, they switch to active thermoregulation by panting.

Our system follows the same idea, but instead of switching thermoregulation methods, we double down on sweat when the going gets tough.

So Why Does it Seem Like I Sweat More Than Others?

You might, and that’s okay. Some people have more active sweat glands than others. Sweat-inducing conditions are common, research from BrickellBio demonstrates that about 5% of the population has hyperhidrosis. In all likelihood, the numbers are even higher since most cases go unreported. So you’re in good company.

There is nothing someone with a condition like hyperhidrosis can’t do that someone else can. Unfortunately, many people with hyperhidrosis feel embarrassed by the condition even though it is perfectly normal. Often, people experience anxiety over their sweat - causing even more perspiration!

So if you do sweat, it’s okay. Excessive sweating is incredibly common and there are lots of options to manage it.

Why You Need to Stop Being Embarrassed by Sweat

It’s time to make peace with sweat. It’s a natural process that everyone does, you cannot stop it, but you can manage it. 

The truth is, most people don’t talk about sweat. That can make others feel as though their sweating is worse than it actually is. It also means that many people won’t talk to a doctor if they’re worried about excessive sweating.

It’s estimated that over 50% of people with hyperhidrosis are never diagnosed because they’re too embarrassed to see a medical professional. That embarrassment only hurts the patient. By talking to a doctor and understanding excessive sweating, you can learn how to manage it more effectively.

There is a wide range of simple sweat management solutions ranging from medications to moisture-wicking sweat-proof clothing. Once you stop being embarrassed, you can discover just how easy it is to live comfortably, and discreetly, with your sweat.