Perspiration is production of water droplets by the sweat glands in the body when it is hot and the main reason is to cool down the body mechanism.

The scientifically to this is thermoregulation (Kalat, 2008). In close reference to Kalat (2008), the evaporation of the sweat causes a cooling effect in a similar mechanism used in the air conditioners. An average human being has roughly five million glands, which produce sweat in their bodies, with approximately 2.6 million on the skin, mainly on palms, armpits and soles. The sensitivity of human personality manages the reactions of these glands. The anxiety brought about by stress, anger or embarrassment causes the nervous system to react awkwardly in readiness of the anticipated danger.

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This is a natural call for preparation to combat the danger and the reaction is the raised pulses, increased perspiration and, rapid breathing. The climatic conditions does not determine the perspiration rate at this anxious state, therefore the rate may rise even when the conditions are very cold. This paper is a major finding of why two different activities such as an aerobic workout and job interview cause similar perspiration effects on the body. How does the body make the sweat and what is its function? What is the difference between the sweat under the armpits and that on the hands? In addition, how does nervousness lead to sweating?

Biological nature

People have different perspiration rates because of difference in the number and concentration of glands, response to effects such as climatic conditions and, adaptation (Sherwood, 2008). People who are born and bred in hot or humid areas have lower sweating mechanisms compared to the dry and less humid areas, therefore when moved to the latter specifications, a person sweats profusely.

The stressful situations are when one sweats but the body mechanism is not in need of the cooling effects. According to Sherwood (2008), bacteria on the skin cause the odour on the perspiration, therefore the sweat does not have the bad smell. “The sympathetic nervous system controls the perspiration and therefore it is the body’s thermostat” (Hant, 2007).

This means that during times of low or no control, the sweat runs off the skin. At such instances, it is easy to judge if one is nervous of a situation, such as when one is lying. The perspiration behaviour can be a factor for detecting lies, emotional circumstances, different blood pressure, difference in pulses, and disparity over respiration rates. In some situations, the body mechanism lacks control over some functions for instance, during the emotional scenarios; people are in control of the communication but not the actions or the body language. The language is more honest than the words thus the reason one is able to interpret danger or excitements without having to relay on explanations. According to research, about 93% of the body’s physical reaction is the active and most accurate communication.

This means that when there is a contradiction between the body language and the words, then it is better to go as per the former. Sweating is a natural act; therefore, when one sweats in the palms it is an indication that there is a certain amount of stress or anxiety. According to research findings, only a small percentage of approximately 2% of the general populace can notice sweat on the palms thus considering it as normal (Wilmore, 2008).

Most people will have to be in an anxious or stressful situation to experience and notice palm sweat or excessive perspiration from the armpits. From these findings, it is right to state that human beings sweat during the nervous situations. The sympathetic nervous systems are an automatic call over perceived danger or anticipated excitement.

How the sweat works

The excessive heat in the body comes from the worked out muscles or over stimulated nervous system and perspiration is the only mechanism to cause the cooling effect. The excessive perspiration usually on the palms and armpits without existence of the physical or emotional activities has a scientific reference of “diaphoresis.” The is no scientific situation known to cause imbalance in the hormonal structure, a thyroid gland that is over-reactive, increased body’s metabolic rates and thermoregulations. Other causes entail the use of certain food and medications such as stimulants like coffee with concentrated caffeine and, lastly the over activity especially on the sensitive nervous system (Wilmore, 2008).

Structure of perspiration

Generally, the sweat gland is a hollow long tube made of cells extending from the dermis section to the pores of the skin. The coiled part produces the sweat. In line with Kalat (2008), the “sympathetic nervous system, has nerve cells connecting to the glands and therefore the reason why sometimes the production occurs because of nervous stimulation.” There are two types of sweat glands namely “Eccrine and Apocrine.” The two types of glands have different sizes, dissimilar times of activeness and diverse type of elements in the sweat. “The ‘Eccrine’ glands are numerous and widely distributed all over human body but particularly found on the palms, soles of the feet and forehead” (Kalat, 2008). These glands mostly become active at puberty stage in the human developmental lifecycle. Conversely, the ‘Apocrine’ glands are highly confined to the armpits and the anal genital areas and mainly have hair endings as opposed to the common pores.

These glands are smaller, active since conception and, produce sweat that lacks the fatty acids or proteins. Some boy parts such as the lips lack the sweat glands. The human body has special type of glands such as those found on the lining on the outer ear that produce wax to prevent damages by harmful materials such as insects (Kalat, 2008). There are various physical signs associable to anxiety brought about by performance. These signs are functions of the independent nervous system in the body specifically the sympathetic part known to be the main control of the visceral functions. The human brain system, hypothalamus and spine system are the main activators of the autonomous nervous system. These autonomic nervous systems can have impulses originating from the cerebral cortex, therefore the perception represented by the brain or thinking stimulates the physical signs of pre-performance anxieties, by triggering the autonomic nervous system and the body tasks that it controls such as perspiration. From the scientific point of view, “the effects of sympathetic stimulation on the organs of the body can be dramatic.

Sympathetic stimulation dilates the pupil, makes the heart beat faster or harder, constricts glands of the eye, nose, or mouth and causes sweat glands to produce sweat” (Weiten, 2008). Other sympathetic situations are not easily noticeable for instance in dilation of the bronchi, secretion of more glucose to serve the increased mental activities, constricted blood vessels on the skin, and the over-energized feeling. Other references given to the sympathetic nervous system that causes the production of more sweat include an alarm reaction or flight or fight response because they provide extra energy beyond the normal output as a counter measure.

People utilize various techniques to manage anxieties related to performance. During performance, one can practice slow breathing techniques, short yoga routine, engage a positive self-talk, engage a mild aerobic activity, meditation, and engage in laughter, especially when one discovers probability of a challenging activity such as public presentation. The relaxation activities assist in secretion of endorphins that eventually overcomes the nor-epinephrine thus reducing the uncommon perspiration rates. According to Weiten (2008), “the development of reliable but reassuring personal routine makes the real difference over management of irregular perspiration.

” The anxiety brought about by performance is not unique to a particular group of people. One can be able to overcome some of the sympathetic nervous simulations such as the uncontrollable sweating through forming an understanding of the anxieties as real and, normal human psychological functions. It is also important to have some personal ways of slotting in features of cognitive behaviours such as spirit boosting self-talks, incorporating some relaxation techniques such as exercises and developing some criteria of understanding or detecting the situations of anxiety.


When one is afraid, anxious or nervous, the respiratory mechanism responds to the emotional state by increasing the sympathetic nervous activities, thus triggering the adrenal glands that increase the epinephrine secretions. This is because of the connection with the nervous system. The epinephrine secretions act on the sweat glands especially in the armpits and, palms of the hands. The whole mechanism therefore causes one to perspire automatically during the nervous states.


Hunt, M.M. (2007). The story of psychology. Anchor Books Publishers Kalat, J.

W. (2008) Biological Psychology. Cengage Learning Publishers Sherwood, L. (2008) Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems.

Cengage Learning Publishers Weiten, W. (2008). Psychology: Themes and Variations. Cengage Learning Publishers Wilmore, J.H, Costill, D.L, and Kenney, W.

L. (2008). Physiology of sport and exercise. Human Kinetics Publishers


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