Why do we sweat? How is perspiration made? Unpleasant, even disabling for some, sweating is nevertheless necessary for the proper functioning of our body. In the program Sans rendez-vous, on Europe 1, Doctor Damien Mascret helps us to understand the mechanisms of this bodily phenomenon.
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Why do we sweat?
"The body absolutely has to stay at 37 degrees. And the best way the body has found for removing excess heat is perspiration. Even when you do nothing, sweating begins as soon as the room temperature rises 30/32 degrees, but from 35 degrees everyone perspires Obviously, evaporation is less effective when the air is hot and humid.
Why is it important to remove heat?
Simply because 37 degrees is the comfort temperature for our cells. But there are variations in temperature during the day. In general, at the end of the day, the body temperature reaches 37 degrees. And then, around two or three in the morning, however, it is at 36 degrees. And obviously, as our body does everything to maintain itself at 37 degrees, this means that it feels good. This is called the thermal neutrality zone, i.e. the ambient temperature which is between 27 and 31 degrees. The thermostat is in the brain, but regulation takes place at the level of the skin.
Why is regulation done at the skin level?
It is contact with the outside. And then, it is especially there that there is the network of blood capillaries. The body will therefore vary the blood flow of our brain. If there is a need to dissipate heat, it will dilate the blood network. For this, there must be a vasodilation. And our brain is aware of all this because it has sensors on the surface of the skin that tell it what the temperature is outside.
Besides, it also has sensors inside that tell it what temperature it is inside. And this is how it will usually regulate at 37 degrees of internal temperature, this means that you have about 33 degrees on the surface of the skin, or even 34/35 degrees in a hot environment.
How is perspiration made?
It is produced by the sweat glands. There are two and a half million on our skin. They are mainly present on the chest and back. These are large areas. So this helps to eliminate a lot of perspiration.
There are two types of sweat glands. The main ones are the eccrine glands because they secrete a liquid fairly close to a plasma filtrate. So it's rather odorless and colorless. They are everywhere, except on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. The others are the sweat glands called apocrines. They are a little more annoying because they are found mainly to be fragrant. Indeed, they promote perspiration, which is quite oily. So it reacts with bacteria that are on the surface of the skin, under the armpits and the genitals that have a lot of apocrine glands.
Can we dissipate the heat without sweating?
Yes, there is what is called radiation. Everyone radiates infrared rays through their organs. When you sit down and do nothing, well over half of the body's heat loss is through this mechanism. However, this will not be enough if the temperature is very hot around you.
What remedies when sweating becomes a handicap?
When it comes to babies, for example, you have to dress them less. For adults, sweat must be blocked, a sign that there is too much heat. But when it becomes very disabling, you can optionally use antiperspirants which are in the form of beads or spray often based on aluminum salts. This will immediately block large sweat. However, this should be avoided after waxing or shaving. Also, we can prefer more natural products. It's up to everyone to find what works for them. "