Do you not sweat at all? Here’s what you need to know

Regardless of how much you hate sweating, not sweating at all can be an indication of a health condition. Here's what lack of sweat mean and what you can do to tackle it.
Lack of sweat
Do you not sweat at all? Here's what you need to know. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Tushar Tayal Published: 13 May 2023, 10:30 am IST
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Sweating, also known as perspiration, is the release of a salt-based fluid from sweat glands, which helps regulate body temperature. It is caused by high temperature, a change in body temperature, or your emotional state. The body usually produces sweat from areas such as the armpits, face, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. Did you know that sweat glands are of two types: eccrine and apocrine?

The eccrine sweat glands are present across the human body and produce sweat, which is lightweight and doesn’t have any odour. The sweat produced by the apocrine sweat glands is concentrated in the hair follicles of the scalp, armpits, and groin, is thicker, tastier and more pungent. The body employs the natural process of sweating to cool itself. Your skin’s glands release sweat, which subsequently dissipates into the air and has the effect of cooling your skin, hence your body.

lack of sweating
Lack of sweat could be due to an underlying condition. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Is lack of sweat a medical condition?

Heat exhaustion or heat stroke are consequences that can result from reduced or absent sweating (hypohidrosis) or anhidrosis. Lack of sweat might be widespread or localised, affecting just particular body parts. A lack of perspiration may lead to the following symptoms:

  • Feeling hot or overheated
  • Having trouble or not being able to cool off after having an increase in body temperature
  • Flushing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Palpitations

What causes lack of sweat?

From your lifestyle habits to a lack of perspiration, there are several possible reasons for a decrease in or absence of sweating in the body. Some of the most common causes why you might not be sweating includes:

  • Absence of sweat glands
  • Amyloidosis
  • Diabetic or alcoholic neuropathy
  • Long-term alcohol abuse
  • Sjögren’s syndrome and Scleoderma
  • Lung cancer
  • Skin disorders or injuries, such as leprosy and severe burns
  • Trauma to the sweat glands
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic silicone exposure
  • Medicines such as Lomotil, antidepressants and anti-epilepsy drugs, some blood pressure medications, and muscle relaxants
  • Anhidrosis might also be a symptom of severe dehydration that occurs when the body loses more water than it takes in.
Dehydration could be a sign of lack of sweating. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Diagnosis and treatment of anhidrosis

This rare condition is diagnosed by a thorough physical examination, sweating tests, blood tests, and imaging modalities. Treatment can be initiated based on the underlying condition. While the doctor may recommend a treatment as per your condition, there are some lifestyle measures which can be included for patients with anhidrosis.

  • Ice pack can be applied to areas such as the neck, forehead, armpits, and groin if the body temperature rises.
  • You must drink plenty of cold water or coconut water or lime water regularly.
  • Avoid exercising in extremely hot weather.
  • Use of air coolers or air conditioners to keep the ambient temperature cool.
  • Avoid wearing synthetic clothes and prefer cotton-based light coloured loose clothing.
  • Sprinkle water on the face, neck, and chest if the body starts feeling hot.


Sweating is the release of liquid from the body through your sweat glands. While it is normal to sweat, sometimes people don’t sweat due to a number of reasons which can range from a daily habit like drinking too much alcohol to a medical problem like Parkinson’s disease. A lack of perspiration is known as anhidrosis, a rare condition that requires immediate attention from a doctor. However, certain lifestyle habits like applying an ice pack, drinking plenty of liquids, exercising in normal weather, etc. may help you prevent the problem.

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About the Author

Dr Tushar Tayal is an internal medicine specialist in Gurugram and currently practices at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram. He pursued a degree of MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune in 2005, MD - Internal Medicine from Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Karad in 2011 and Fellowship - Diabetology from Boston School of Medicine, USA in 2017. He is a member of the Indian Medical Association and Association of Physicians of India. ...Read More

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