Is Sweating Good for Your Skin?

Don’t sweat. Glisten.

There is nothing that denotes a strong workout like being covered with a layer of sweat. Sweating is a good thing, though it doesn’t always feel that way. Sweating is your body’s way of dealing with excess heat. If you didn’t sweat, your body would quickly grow overheated, which could lead to heat stroke and other serious medical complications. Indeed, there are rare congenital conditions known as Ectodermal Dysplasia, in which children are born with absent sweat glands. This makes them prone to severe hyperthermia (body overheating) which can be life threatening. Sweating is essential for life!

Sweat and Skin Connection

Sweat is made primarily of water, though it does also contain a few other ingredients that are built up in the body, including sodium and chloride, as well as potassium. The body can regulate the amount of sodium and potassium loss, and it’s actually rare to become sodium-deficient, even with the heaviest sweating. The old theories of athletes taking salt tablets have long been disproven. Even modern “electrolyte replacement drinks” are generally unnecessary (and in some cases, unhealthy thanks to all the added sugar).

While sweating is essential, in some cases it can be problematic. Extreme heat, coupled with occlusion (like non-breathable clothing laying on the skin) can lead to blockage of the sweat glands. This results in a bumpy, itchy rash often called “prickly heat.” If severe, this may require treatment by a dermatologist to resolve the itching and inflammation.

And too much sweat can definitely be a bad thing. Excessive sweating, or “hyperhidrosis,” can affect any area of the body. But it’s often most bothersome, and most severe, in certain areas, primarily the underarms, hands, and feet. This can be so severe as to interfere with social contact, like a handshake. Heavy underarm sweating can be uncontrollable with regular antiperspirants, and can be severe enough to lead to social and work issues. Fortunately, hyperhidrosis can be treated. There are prescription medications specialized skin treatments and even surgery in some cases. More recently, MiraDry has become extremely popular as a permanent, one-time treatment for underarm excessive sweating. If you suffer from this problem, see the dermatologists at Avail Dermatology to discuss the best options for you. So, for healthy skin it is best to find a healthy balance when it comes to sweating.

For more information on how to keep your skin healthy, contact Avail Dermatology at 770-251-5111 or schedule an appointment with us today.