The Sweat Check: What Your Sweat Color Says About Your Health
As the weather gets warmer, the season of excessive sweating is approaching. Sweat is important in excreting waste from our bodies and maintaining body temperature. Did you know sweat can change color depending on one’s physical condition? You might be ignorant about it so far, but how about observing the state of your sweat to infer your health?
Sweat should be transparent
Sweat is usually transparent. However, it can also turn yellow, green, or blue. This happens because sweat is transparent when it comes out of the body but changes color immediately after it appears on the skin. This phenomenon occurs when the apocrine gland in the sweat gland is transformed, or there’s a lipid metabolism problem. These usually change the color of sweat to yellow.
What if the color of your sweat changes?
If the color of your sweat suddenly changes, it could be a sign of a health problem. You may sweat yellow if your kidney function deteriorates or your body condition is not good. In rare cases, patients with liver dysfunction can produce brown or green sweat from their palms and soles due to mixed bile. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause turquoise sweat, and the color of sweat can change due to your medication.
It’s hard to detect because it’s not noticeable
The color of sweat usually cannot be detected unless checking the color of clothes soaked in sweat because, in general, sweat colors are not recognizable visually. Usually, if you have been drinking or have experienced a mental shock, the color of your sweat can become darker. It’s hard to distinguish because it’s not noticeable, but if you sweat a lot, wouldn’t it be good to check the color of your sweat at least once?
What if you sweat a lot while sleeping?
Sweating excessively while sleeping can also be a sign of a health problem. It could be due to autonomic dysfunction, tumors, tuberculosis, etc. Diabetic patients can sweat a lot during sleep when they have hypoglycemia. If you sweat profusely while sleeping, regardless of the room temperature or weather, visiting a hospital for a check-up is recommended.
What if you feel dizzy or have a headache after sweating?
If you sweat and lose a lot of salt and water, you can feel dizzy or have a headache. You may also experience rapid breathing and blurred vision. Heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, so be aware of it. In this case, you should find a place to cool down and replenish salt and water. If the symptoms do not disappear for over an hour, you should go to the hospital for treatment.
What if you have cramps after sweating?
If you sweat and lose too much sodium, you might experience cramps. In severe cases, it can last from 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes and usually occurs in the leg and abdominal muscles. The best and fastest treatment for heat cramps is to rest in a cool place and replenish electrolytes through ion drinks. It’s good to massage to ease the muscles.
Some people don’t sweat
Some people sweat well, but some people hardly sweat or not at all. It is called “anhidrosis,” usually congenital, but also damaged nerves, low blood pressure, and diabetes can be the cause. Atopic dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis can also be the reason. If anhidrosis suddenly occurs, it would be good to check the medication you are currently taking. Experts say that anhidrosis can occur when using drugs that inhibit the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
The smell of sweat is also an important indicator!
Sweat is odorless mainly, but what if the smell of sweat is particularly foul? The head has eccrine sweat glands, so the smell of sweat can be strong from the top. Also, sweats from the armpits and genitals can also smell because the eccrine glands and the apocrine glands are distributed. It can be even worse if you have seborrheic dermatitis because the mixture of excessive sebum, sweat, and fungus can cause a foul smell.
If there’s a strong odor, suspect bromhidrosis
You should suspect “bromhidrosis” if there’s a strong smell from sweat or it interferes with daily life. When bacteria or fungi act on the moistened corneum due to excessive sweating, causing a foul odor. Bromhidrosis should be treated first if there are bacterial and fungal infections, and then local therapy is used to suppress excessive sweating. Conservative treatments such as washing frequently with soap and wearing well-ventilated clothes can also be effective.
What if you sweat too much?
If you sweat too much, you should suspect “hyperhidrosis.” Hyperhidrosis worsens during puberty and usually appears locally in the hands, feet, face, head, and armpits, where sweat glands are concentrated compared to other body parts. Hyperhidrosis can also be due to genetic reasons or obesity, thyroid, endocrine disorders, etc. If it’s not genetic, controlling the symptoms is possible by treating the triggering disease.
By. Shin Young Jeon