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Regular sweating—say, you’re in the middle of a deadlift session—is one of the ways our body keeps us from overheating, according to Robert Segal, M.D., founder of the Medical Offices of Manhattan.
By keeping our body temperature within one or two degrees of 98.6, it helps to maintain a balance in our hormones and bodily fluids.
The amount you sweat depends on what kind of stress you’re placing on your body. For example, you sweat more when running than walking at a slow pace because your body temperature goes up faster when you’re using more energy, Dr. Segal says. So you need to be cooled off more to get your body temp back to what it should be.
Wearing loafers without sandals? You might notice that your shoes slip right off your feet if you have hyperhidrosis. Like with your hands, there are extra sweat glands located on your feet, so you may notice sweating here, too, according to Dr. Segal.
This can be anytime, whether you’re sitting at your desk, driving, hanging out with friends at a bar—unless you just worked out immediately beforehand, this at-rest sweating is a red flag Dr. Segal notes.
Similar to the coolness you experience in the middle of the night, you shouldn’t need to sweat when you’re out in chilly weather, even if you’re exercising. Although you can expect some sweat during a polar marathon, it would be minimal compared to one done in warmer weather, says Dr. Segal.
If your sweating seems excessive, there are treatment options. Dr. Brown says the most popular and effective, by far, is Botox—which temporarily blocks the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate sweat glands. Without those signals, you’ll still sweat a bit, but severe sweating is often significantly reduced. One treatment can last up to eight months, Dr. Segal notes.
That means you shouldn’t need the temperature regulation of sweat to cool to you off, adds Dr. Segal.
Chat with your doctor if sweating is significantly impacting your life, advises Dr. Segal. This includes sweating at rest, having night sweats, sweating in the cold, or having other symptoms such as fever, chills, chest pain, or dizziness. In rare cases, this can signal a more serious condition like heart disease.
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