What to do about sweat

IMAGE: livescience.com

In the tropics we boast about having this sunny weather all year round. It’s particularly inviting for those who live up north, especially during winter. But with all this sun, comes extreme warmth and this forces us to produce sweat. Yes. Dripping sweat in the summer. The problem is sweat gets smelly and messy and makes you uncomfortable and may be unsightly. Just how does one handle this wet dilemma?

You’ve seen the green, discoloured undershirt, the white residue on dark colored shirts and the sweat mark on your dress shirts. Your trousers may become smelly even after one wear. Then there are some persons who sweat profusely. In which case, your entire shirt is drenched in no time. This may be a medical issue and as such requires medical attention.

What exactly is sweat?

The sciences says, “Perspiration consists of water, minerals, lactate and urea. On average, the mineral composition is:

There are also trace amounts of zinc, iron, copper, chromium and lead. 

Why do we sweat? The body is marvellous machine equipped with its own cooling system. The human body perspires mainly as a means of cooling down. In the process it leaves you sticky and smelly but remarkably cooler. It’s unwise and unhealthy to block the sweat being produced. Our best bet is to manage the amount and the odour.

Here’s what to do:

Get several undershirts

A tank top is really ineffective at absorbing the sweat produced from your torso and arms. Plus, there’s no coverage for your armpits. The undershirt serves to prevent your dress shirts from getting sweaty. Keeps you looking fresh and clean. Your shirts will tend to last longer if this practice is maintained. Sweat can very quickly ruin your smartest shirt after a few wears.

Fabric Choice
Some fabrics are much warmer than others because of their ability to trap heat. With temperatures ranging from 28 to 37 °C you want to avoid fabrics such as wool, flannel, cashmere, tweed, corduroy, fleece and knits.

Cool fabrics include: cotton, linen, blends, chambray and rayon.

Types of Fabrics 

Does the color matter?
According to the science, dark colors absorb heat and make you more warm. Lighter colors reflect heat and thus keeps you feeling cooler.

What to do about the smell?
  • Deodorant!
You may want to avoid anti-perspirants because they work by clogging the pores in order to prevent sweating. This is unnatural and antagonistic to the body’s normative function of the skin. However, an antiperspirant may be recommended if you sweat in copius amounts even with little activity. 

Deodorants mask the odours that arise from the action of the bacteria on your skin. These microbes thrive in moist areas, so armpits are a prime habitat. According to Speed stick, “deodorants provide long-lasting odor protection by making odor with fragrance ingredients, creating an environment where bacteria can’t grow and reducing odor by neutralising some of the smelly components in sweat like fatty acids.”
  • Drink more water
  • Take frequent showers
Personal hygiene is a matter of extreme importance and should never be neglected. Keep fresh and clean.

As always, do you, style is personal.

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