Sweat can be very irritating: bacteria can stick to it and make you smell bad, and if you don’t wipe your face after sweating, you can get pimples. You should also wash your hair often if you sweat a lot, even if frequent hair washing isn’t necessarily good for you.
So it’s easy to assume that all of these problems would go away if you stopped sweating. But there are pros and cons to your body interrupting this important process.
We detail the things that could happen to you if you suddenly stopped sweating.
Your skin would suffer.
Perspiration hydrates the skin, so without it, the skin would be dry and would need extra care to keep it hydrated. The normal production of sweat is said to have antibacterial effects as it helps to open up the pores and remove what has been trapped within them.
So if you stop sweating, bacteria on the surface of your skin can stay there, as sweat helps kill off harmful bacteria.
there’d be a higher risk of getting kidney stones.
Some research has found that sweat from regular exercise draws out sodium that would otherwise go to the kidneys and urine, where stones form. This, in turn, would help increase blood volume, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Therefore, if you stopped sweating, you would be at higher risk of developing kidney stones and cardiovascular disease. Your body would also have a harder time getting rid of toxins like heavy metals.
In excessively hot climates, it’d be harder to cool down.
The main function of sweat is to cool your body, so if you don’t sweat, it can lead to dizziness, cramps, nausea, and overheating. Symptoms of heat cramps include muscle aches and spasms.
You can also get heat stroke, a life-threatening condition that occurs when your body temperature reaches 103ºF. If left untreated, it can cause loss of consciousness.
You could release fewer hormones that attract people.
Sweat produces chemicals called pheromones, which act like hormones outside the body to influence the behavior of other people. Women are more attracted to men when exposed to a compound released from male sweat.
Another study found that smelling your partner’s sweaty shirt can lower stress. So if you stopped sweating, you would not only be deprived of these advantages but other people as well.
Your body wouldn’t be able to tell you and others how it was feeling.
Your body sweats to prepare you for fight-or-flight situations if you feel nervous or scared, and it cools down if you eat something spicy or hot. Sweating is your body’s way of communicating with you to tell you what’s going on inside you.
And it also communicates with other people about your feelings, emitting scents. One experiment found that women exposed to men’s sweat obtained out of fear showed expressions of fear, and those exposed to sweat out of disgust showed expressions of disgust.
How much do you sweat in a day? Would you rather stop sweating?