Sweat secretes 2 to 3 million sweat glands that are found in the skin and are not evenly distributed throughout the body. Most of them are on the palms and soles, under the armpits and around the genitals. Sweat is a colorless liquid, mostly water, and it contains unnecessary and even harmful substances that are created by the change of substances in the body: uric and acetic acid, ammonia, fatty acids. The salty taste of sweat comes from table salt, sodium chloride. The composition of sweat is also influenced by diet; due to too salty foods, there will be more table salt in the sweat.

The smell of sweat depends on the area of the body. The special odor under the armpits and around the genitals comes partly from special olfactory glands and partly due to the special composition of sweat. Sweat can be colored by pigment bacteria, but also by minor blood impurities. Red sweat used to be given a supernatural meaning.

The main task of sweat is to regulate body temperature. Sweat is a liquid that evaporates easily, which is why normal sweating is almost not noticed. By evaporating sweat the body loses heat. In this way, it cools down when there is excess heat in it or when it is exposed to too high a temperature from the outside. On hot days, sweating is heavier and can be up to two liters per hour. He sweats more during heavy physical exertion, then a large amount of heat is created in the body.

Everyone is sweating, some more, others less. Obese people sweat more than skinny people, adults more than children, old people less than middle-aged people. On cold days there is almost no sweating, while on hot summer days most sweat. Some sweat while eating, others while they are excited, others only when they sleep, some have a damp whole body, or just parts of it.

Sweating is not subject to willpower. The sweat glands are “administered” by special nerves that work completely independently, independently to the will. The life that governs the work of the sweat glands are only part of a special autonomic nervous system. The main center of this involuntary nervous system is located in the part of the brain called the midbrain. From this center come commands for more or less sweating, for sweating the whole body or only limited parts. If all is well with these nerves, if they function normally, the amount of sweat secreted will be just as much as is needed to maintain body temperature. This means that just as much sweat is excreted as it can evaporate immediately. Squeezing sweat on the skin in the form of drops is not expedient. It is always an unnecessary loss of fluid from the body, because sweat in the form of drops does not evaporate and does not cool.

Increased sweating of the whole body is a normal occurrence only with fever, increased physical exertion and elevated ambient temperature. Then the excess body heat must be removed by increased evaporation of sweat from large areas. If excessive sweating lasts for a long time, it can lead to more severe disorders in the body. Excessive sweating can also occur on a "nervous basis". It is common in women at menopause. Their sweating, especially at night, is just one of the signs of disturbed nervous balance. Excessive sweating can be a transient occurrence of many sudden and strong emotional states: fear and dread. But these "nervous" sweats are still limited to certain parts of the body, mostly the arms, legs, armpits.

Severe pain, especially if it comes in seizures, is regularly accompanied by increased sweating. This is most often seen during attacks of pain caused by stones in the kidneys, urinary tract, gallbladder. By calming the pain, sweating also stops. Sweating is also accompanied by severe, acute heart disease: cold sweats from heart attacks and angina pectoris. Sweating accompanies many infectious diseases, especially with high fever, such as rheumatic fever, malaria, flu, "blood poisoning". It can also occur in long-term, chronic diseases, such as tuberculosis. Excessive sweating accompanies many life-threatening conditions. “Cold sweat” regularly douses a man who has lost a large amount of blood or is in a state of shock. Outbreaks of cold sweats are not normal. Cold sweat has nothing to do with the basic function of sweating, with temperature regulation. Cold sweat occurs only when the body suddenly finds itself in a difficult and dangerous situation.

Excessive sweating of the soles and palms is most common. For many people, this is an embarrassing phenomenon which is why they seek medical help. Most, however, have become accustomed to living with their sweat and their scent, which they no longer feel at all, but which is well felt by the environment. The sweat glands on the palms and soles do not have the meaning that sweat glands have on the rest of the body. Sweat on the palms and soles does not participate in the regulation of body temperature, but only compensates for the lack of sebaceous glands. There are no sebaceous glands on the palms and soles that would lubricate the skin to keep it soft. The skin of the palms and soles must be moist to adhere as well as possible to a smooth surface. With dry hands, many jobs are difficult, some even impossible. That is why it is known to spit in the hands of workers who work with shovels and picks. The composition of sweat on the palms and soles is different from sweat on other parts of the body: it has more fatty acids. The unpleasant smell of sweaty feet comes from the breakdown of these fatty acids. Increased sweating on the soles and disintegration of sweat damages the skin, which becomes red, eroded by larger or smaller wounds. Bacteria and fungi easily multiply on such altered skin. Such changes are not visible on the palms because sweat is constantly removed. The hands are worked, the hands are constantly wiped and washed often, so that the sweat is removed before it begins to disintegrate.

Excessive sweating on the palms and soles most often occurs on a "nerve basis". Excessive sweating is only mentioned if heavy sweating occurs regardless of weather conditions, physical exertion, quantity and type of clothing and footwear. Sensitive people can get real bouts of sweating at the time of complete rest, so sweat is just dripping from their palms and soles. Then the balance of the nerves that work independently of the human will is disturbed. This condition is called neurovegetative dystonia. Excessive sweating is just one of the signs of the disorder.

Treating excessive sweating is often difficult and time consuming. The biggest problem is excessive sweating of the soles. Such persons must wash their feet several times a day, massage them with alcohol and powder them, especially between the toes. Alternate baths have a beneficial effect on strengthening the nerves: the feet are kept in hot water for three minutes, and in cold water for one minute, and this is repeated several times, then the feet are wiped well. Such people should wear woolen or cotton socks that allow ventilation and absorb sweat (socks made of synthetic fibers cannot). Socks should be changed several times a day. Feet, socks and shoes must be powdered with a powder containing boric acid as a mild disinfectant.