There are many reasons why some people sweat more than others. Most of these variations are perfectly healthy. Here’s what you need to know.

How much you sweat depends on many factors, temperature and humidity, your physical condition or medications you take, genes you have at birth and other reasons.

How come you’re sweating profusely on your yoga mat when the person next to you doesn’t seem to have sweated a drop?

How much you sweat during a workout or physical activity depends on many factors. What is the degree of humidity? What is the temperature ? How far do you push yourself? How fast are you moving? Are you well hydrated? What did you eat before?

As embarrassing as it can be (sweaty palms during a job interview?), sweating is normal and is an absolutely essential bodily function. One of the main functions of sweating is to help the body to maintain homeostasis, or balance, in the body. If your body temperature gets too high, it can be harmful to your cells. Sweating helps the body avoid reaching this point. It is one of our main cooling mechanisms.

What exactly happens when you sweat?

When your body’s core temperature gets too high, you produce moisture on the skin’s surface. The evaporation of this moisture cools the skin. There are many very healthy reasons why you may or may not sweat as much as someone else. Again, how much you sweat depends on a lot of factors. And it should be noted that there is a wide range of what is considered normal and healthy when it comes to sweating.

Right off the bat, genetics to some extent determine the amount of sweating (or lack thereof). Some people are born with genes that make them tall, some people are born with genes that make them sweat more than others (several of these additional variables being constant). Additionally, factors such as anxiety, an underlying health condition (such as type 2 diabetes and certain thyroid disorders), and certain medications, among others, can all increase sweat production.

Hydration status also impacts the amount of sweat produced. A well hydrated person will sweat more than a less hydrated person. The same goes for people with good physical condition. The more your body is conditioned to exercise, the faster it can ramp up sweat production to keep you cool during your workout.

Bottom Line: In most cases, it’s completely normal to sweat more (or drier) than your fit yoga buddy.

But in some cases, sweating too much or too little may indicate that you have an undiagnosed medical condition. Hyperhidrosis is a chronic condition characterized by excessive, frequent and difficult to control sweating, which is not necessarily triggered by heat or exercise. Hypohidrosis, also called anhidrosis, is a chronic medical condition characterized by insufficient sweating.

All about hypohidrosis (anhidrosis)

Hypohidrosis occurs when the sweat glands don’t work properly and therefore block your ability to sweat. Although dehydration can cause short-lived hypohidrosis, some people suffer from a chronic lack of sweating, whether they were born with it or developed later in life. Purely genetic cases of hypohidrosis (people born with the condition) are incredibly rare. Most often, people suffer from hypohidrosis due to conditions or injuries that affect the nerves or the skin, such as diabetes or psoriasis.

Certain medications, including antipsychotics, can also affect sweat gland function and contribute to hypohidrosis. The scientific community has limited data on the true prevalence of hypohidrosis, as doctors suspect that many mild cases go undiagnosed. Severe cases of hypohidrosis are usually diagnosed early in infancy or childhood, but milder cases are often not diagnosed until later in life, if at all.

Why sweating too little can be a problem

Not sweating enough can lead to potentially serious health risks.

If hypohidrosis affects a large area of ​​the body and prevents adequate cooling, vigorous exercise, heavy physical labor, or high temperatures can cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. Hypohidrosis can cause more serious complications in children because their core body temperature rises faster than adults, and children release body heat less efficiently. This condition is dangerous because these people can experience internal overheating, which can lead to death in the most severe cases. Even under less severe circumstances, patients with hypohidrosis would likely be unable to tolerate exercise or high temperatures.

In addition to their lack of sweating, people with hypohidrosis may notice that they feel dizzy, weak, or excessively hot incredibly easily. They may also experience redness on the skin and muscle cramps.

How do you know if your lack of sweating is a problem?

If you don’t seem to sweat as much as those around you, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have hypohidrosis.

Some people don’t sweat much at first, while others do. Different people have a different number of sweat glands and a different genetic makeup. As long as your sweating (or lack thereof) doesn’t interfere with your daily routine (including exercise!), there’s probably no medical problem.

However, if you experience any of the symptoms of hypohidrosis (such as flushing of the skin and extreme fatigue), if you avoid heat or strenuous exercise because you are worried about your lack of sweat, or if you have had several heat strokes, consult your doctor.

Also consult your doctor if there is a noticeable decrease in the amount of sweat you usually sweat. Hypohidrosis can be a sign of health issues such as hypothyroidism, so it’s important to get checked out.

Although specific treatments for hypohidrosis depend on the reason for your lack of sweating, your doctor will usually work with you to manage your lifestyle and prepare you for situations where the heat could put your health at risk. An unfortunate but often necessary reality: Many people who cannot cool down properly due to a lack of sweating must avoid high intensity exercise and heat.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.