Not all sweat is created equally. In fact there are two distinct types of sweat, created by two different kinds of glands. The eccrine glands, which can be found on the hands, feet and forehead, produce sweat which is 99% water and therefore largely inoffensive on the nose. The apocrine glands, however, can be found around the groin and the pits and are largely responsible for your unique brand of BO.
Depending on the kind of sticky situation you find yourself in, one of these two kinds of glands will start working overtime. Here are some classic sweaty scenarios.
Going for a strenuous run or engaging in any sort of physical activity will cause muscles to work overtime and raise your body temperature. Exercise gets your eccrine glands to produce a mix of water, sodium chloride and potassium to help cool you down.
Nerves about a hot date can easily provoke an uncontrollable case of the sweats. This might involve wet pits, a beady brow or sweaty palms, reactions which not only rule out any physical contact but also put a damper on the most romantic of situations with their unpleasant stench. All in all, not a good look.
An impossible deadline or a meeting with the boss can easily set off a case of the ‘stress sweats’. Even the painful wait before that deciding meeting or presentation can set you off. Some guys find the mere thought of getting sweaty is enough to get them going, setting a vicious cycle in motion.
Given that the vast majority of your apocrine glands are in your nether regions, it stands to reason that the slightest bit of arousal can cause them to start producing sweat. Take a whiff of any teenager’s bedroom and you’ll see what we mean. In other primates, the scents released from apocrine glands are called pheromones and they are used to attract potential partners. There is a lot of contradictory information out there regarding whether pheromones actually exist in humans.
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