It's July; it's 100 degrees, and you're probably sweating like a racehorse. Which makes sense. Buy why do we also sweat when we're sick, stressed or nervous?
Fever sweats and gym sweats come from the same source- the eccrine glands. "In both situations, you're cooling off the body," says George Preti, a research scientist who studies BO. The big difference between the two? Our body odor changes when we get sick. So if someone's sweat smells extra funky, stay away- otherwise, you might get the flu.
Scared - a nervous sweat
The apocrine glands in the armpits and groin are responsible for nervous sweat. "They give you underarm odor," Preti explains. Not only do they produce more sweat than the eccrine glands, but the sweat itself is also different: Regular sweat is 99% water; stress sweat is 20% fats and proteins. Bacteria goes nuts for that stuff, so your BO becomes that much more potent. Result? Everyone can smell your fear.
Hot-n- sticky sweat
Your average daily sweat from physical exertion or a warm July afternoon-can occur nearly anywhere on your skin. "Eccrine glands are located all over your body," Preti says. This makes sweat from overheating or working out the most straightforward: Your body gets hot, your brain pours out sweat to cool you down, you look like a hot, soggy mess. Everyone wins!