The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

I've been concerned about the amount of sweating I do lately whenever I sunbathe. I've always been a fairly heavy sweater, but for the last several months, it's been ridiculous. An hour of sun time results in my beach towel getting drenched--not just a little damp, but actually wet, almost to the point of dripping. My swim trunks are at least as saturated, usually more. Even accounting for the monstrous levels of humidity in the Tampa Bay area, my sweat glands seem to be working overtime.

I don't have a problem with excessive sweating in general. My hands never get clammy, my armpits tend to stay dry, and even a brisk walk or jog won't make me break out into tremendous perspiration. But if I get just ten minutes of heavy sun exposure, it's Sweating to the Oldies time, times 20!

I guess I first attributed this to aging, a side effect of the inevitable creep toward middle age. But from what scant research I've done, it seems that it's more typical for a person to sweat less as s/he gets older. Something about higher heat thresholds, etc. I seem to be doing the opposite.

The thing is, all this sweating is probably a healthy sign. Despite the general stinkiness and messiness, sweating indicates your body is doing the job of keeping things cooled down. Inability to sweat is a more acute problem, resulting in heatstroke.

Anyway, it could be worse. I could be suffering from hyperhidrosis, apparently the scourge of countless Canadians.