You are about to do something really big -- maybe ­a job interview, a presentation, a first date or your wedding -- and you notice that your palms and underarms are sweating. Perhaps, you've just completed an aerobic workout and your whole body is drenched in sweat. How can such different activities have the same effect on your body? What is sweat and why do we make it?

Perspiration, or sweat, is your body's way of cooling itself, whether that extra heat comes from hardworking muscles or from overstimulated nerves. In this article, we will examine your body's sweat glands, how sweat is made and what it does. You will learn that there is difference between the sweat on your palms and the sweat in your armpits and why your skin tastes salty after a workout!

The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands in their skin. Sweat glands are distributed over the entire body -- except for the lips, nipples and external genital organs. The sweat gland is in the layer of skin called the dermis along with other "equipment," such as nerve endings, hair follicles and so on.

See the next page to see how the sweat gland works.