You must have wondered at some point if your body reabsorbs sweats back into your body system. Well, if you have been looking for the answer to this question, you have to the right place.
What is Sweat?
Sweat is a fluid secreted by the specific glands through the skin pores. Sweat is about 99% water and about 1% chemicals comprising of sodium, chloride, potassium, ammonia and urea.
Sweating or perspiration is the process of secreting this fluid. It is the body’s method of reducing the internal heat that has been generated due to increased metabolic activities inside the body.
1. Physical activity: More muscular activities during exercise and movements result in increased kinetic energy and subsequently, the body’s temperature. Also, the increased muscular activity would require some metabolism to provide energy for the muscles. All of this would increase the internal temperature of the body resulting in sweating.
2. Metabolic activity: When we take high caloric diets such as proteins, the body requires more energy to break it down (digest). This energy is converted to heat energy in the body and the body produces sweat as a counter mechanism to cool it off.
Does Sweat re-enter the body?
The watery content of sweat like every other fluid evaporates into the atmosphere. The chemical content, however, remains on the skin and if left unattended can clog the pores through which they were released and cause an infection. It’s like little pebbles washed out of a pipe and left at the mouth of the same pipe; they could re-enter and clog the pipe.
Therefore, it is very advisable and healthy to sweat but also wash it off after 5 -10 minutes of sweating. This is mostly because you may stop doing the activity that necessitated the perspiration, but your body may not totally be through with sweating.
MORE ABOUT SWEATING
1. When you sweat and wash off (bath) almost immediately, you’re most likely to continue sweating after because the internal temperature of the body is still a bit higher than normal. A quick bath will not reduce that. Sweat is meant to evaporate the body’s water content and this process naturally cools the skin. The chemical content that is waste products of metabolism (breakdown of proteins and other nutrients) are to be washed off subsequently.
2. Sweating does not rid body of toxins. That exclusive function belongs to the liver and kidneys. Using mechanical means to induce sweating might only cause damage to the kidneys in the long run because the body loses water in excess above the normal requirements and this would put pressure on the kidneys to retain more water as a counter mechanism.
Sweating however can be pathological (due to infection). In cases of fever and other infections which are pathological, you might notice increased perspiration too. These infections can increase body metabolism and subsequently body heat.
In summary, sweating is the body’s mechanism for cooling off and it’s normal. But leaving the body to dry without washing the skin off the sweaty substances can be harmful.