Definition of perspiration
- Perspiring is a normal physiological phenomenon and helps to control the body's temperature, maintaining it at constant temperature of approximately 37°C.
- Perspiration allows the body to cool.
- Sweating helps the body regulate its temperature. Sweat is produced by the sudoriferous glands.
- During physical activity or hot temperatures the body's temperature increases. The body reacts in order to lower its temperature by producing sweat, which will evaporate after.
- The body contains from 2 to 4 million sudoriferous glands, which are distributed over the entire skin surface.
- The sudoriferous glands allow the body to evacuate the excess of heat by producing sweat: the evaporation of sweat gets rid of body heat.
- Their numbers vary from one part of the body to another.
Localisation of the sudoriferous glands
- The majority of sudoriferous glands are on the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, the groin and the armpits.
- They are ten times more present at the level of the feet and the hands than in the back.
Quantity of produced sweat
- Sudoriferous glands produce approximately 1 litre of sweat per day.
- During excessive sweating, production can reach or even exceed 10 litres per day. Hyperhydrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating.
- Let us take the example of increased physical activity: heat accumulates thus increases the temperature of the body.
- In order not to exceed a constant temperature of 37 degrees, perspiration regulates the body.
- During thermoregulation, sweat coming from the sudoriferous glands evaporates via the pores of the skin.
Perspiration and smell
- The sweat secreted by the sudoriferous glands is odourless.
- The bad smells of perspiration, which are sometimes offensive, come from the presence of bacteria on the skin surface, which are nourished by perspiration.
The 2 types of sudoriferous glands
Each sudoriferous gland, located under the skin, is linked to a pore.
It has the form of a long hollow tube composed of cells.
There are 2 types of sudoriferous glands, the eccrine glands and apocrine glands.
- They cover most of the body.
- They are numerous around the head, the palms of the hand and the plants of the foot.
- They are functional from the time of birth
- Apocrine glands are not found in all parts of the body.
- They are located in the groin and underarm areas.
- They become active from the onset of puberty.