Sweating affects us all, but stress sweat is a whole new deal for many of us. Stress can induce us into worry and fear: do I smell? Can people tell? Is it obvious? Stress sweat is very different from normal sweat, and because of this, we think it looks and smells different and is more obvious to those around us. This post is all about what stress sweat is and how to stop it.
What Is Stress Sweat?
Stress affects our bodies in different ways, and our bodies sweating is a natural response to it. Stress releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, as well as increasing our heart rates and increasing muscle tension – it does this to prepare our bodies for what’s ahead. These nerves and hormones activate our sweat glands. This, combined with the increased heart rate, increases our internal temperatures, which our bodies then need to cool down. This is how stress sweat starts.
What Is Different Between Normal Sweat and Stress Sweat?
Essentially the main difference between the two types of sweats is the glands from which they are produced. Your body is covered in sweat glands: 2-4 million to be exact. Most of these glands are Eccrine glands, which produce sweat based on your physical activity. Mostly made up of water, the sweat produced from these glands will cool your internal temperature down.
However, apocrine glands are the main cause of any stress-related sweat. They’re also found in different areas of your body to Eccrine glands: they’re located where there are higher numbers of hair follicles, like your armpits and genital area, for example. These areas produce much more sweat when under stress than when you’re relaxed, in fact, up to 30 times more. This sweat tends to be thicker and richer in lipids, which means that when it combines with your skin it results in body odor.
How Do I Deal With Stress Sweat?
There are many ways to deal with stress sweat effectively! When dealing with this kind of sweat, the most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone and no one around you probably notices. And, it’s completely natural, so don’t stress about the stress sweat. Here are some ways to help:
- Wear antiperspirant over deodorant. Deodorant merely masks a smell, but antiperspirant actively blocks your pores to minimize the amount of sweat produced.
- Shower daily. Showering should be part of a regular and healthy routine. This routine gets rid of bacteria, which means if you do sweat from stress, there’s less interaction between the two.
- Keep Hair Trimmed and Groomed. The less hair in these areas with apocrine glands, the less sweat trapped. This minimizes the risk of certain odors and will also make any antiperspirant use much more effective.
- Measure Your Stress Levels. Reflect biofeedback device measures physiological signals that can be reflected back to you. This will help you understand what makes you stressed so that you can begin your journey to relaxation.
- Practice meditation for stress to improve your well-being.
We know that sweat might be a cause for embarrassment and worry. This is especially true with stress sweat: its thicker texture and smellier odor can cause us to worry about the opinions of others around us. Try to relax about it though – it’s all-natural and everyone sweats! The tips listed in these posts should help you feel more comfortable and confident day to day when dealing with stress sweat.