What is sweat? Sweat, aka perspiration, is a fluid secreted through glands onto the surface of your skin to prevent overheating. Sweat is a watery substance that causes a cooling effect when it evaporates. Evaporation is one mechanism to help counteract a rise in core body temperature.
Sweat is mostly water, with a bit of other chemicals mixed in. The composition of your sweat is unique, yet it likely contains some combination of ammonia, urea, lactate, sodium chloride (salt), other electrolytes (potassium), minerals (calcium, magnesium) and/or sugar.
Sweat is secreted out sweat glands on your skins surface. Two reasons for sweating all over are being in a hot environment or during exercise. Although emotional stress can cause a sweat too, but it typically only occurs in your palms, soles of the feet, armpits and forehead.
What are sweat glands?
Glands are organs that produce and release substances, in this case sweat. There are two types of sweat glands, eccrine and apocrine glands. And it’s your autonomic nervous system that stimulates these glands to produce cooling perspiration.
Eccrine glands are located throughout your body and open directly onto the skin’s surface. Apocrine glands open at the skin end of hair follicles, which are usually inactive until hormonal changes at puberty. These glands are in hairy areas of your body, such as the scalp, armpits and groin.
So why does sweat seem to stink? Actually, sweat typically does not cause an odor. What’s causing the stink is bacteria. Bacteria feeds on the oils released with sweat by your apocrine glands and this breakdown causes the smell.