When we jog, we sweat; when we run, we sweat. On a hot day, our body may lose as much as one liter through excess sweating. Do you know why it happens? When we do any physical work or exercise like running or jogging, the temperature of our body rises. Sweating is our body’s natural mechanism which helps us maintain our body temperature. Let us find out how this happens:
The human skin is made of three layers: the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The sweat glands are present in the dermis of the skin. They are long, coiled hollow tubes of cells. The coiled part in the dermis is where sweat is produced and the long portion is a duct that connects the glands to an opening or pore on the skin. The most common type of sweat glands called eccrine are found all over the body – particularly on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and forehead. The other type of glands is apocrine, mostly confined to the armpits and the genital area. So, a person can have as many as four million sweat glands.
When the temperature of the skin rises, the sweat glands send the sweat drops to the surface of the skin. The sweat absorbs the heat from the skin and evaporates it, thus cooling it in the process. That is why when we have fever, we put a cool, wet strip of cloth on the forehead to help reducing the temperature.
The sweat glands also secrete salts along with water from the body. Sailors being in the sea sweat a lot and in the process, lose a lot of salt from the body. So, they need to drink more water and also take extra salt in their diet. Malfunctioning or clogging of the sweat glands can lead to skin diseases. So, in summers, it’s advisable to drink water with salts.
The sweat glands are like our body’s air conditioners. They help human body to naturally cool off and eliminate excess heat from muscles, detoxify dissolved solids and maintain salinity in the body.