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I've wondered about this for a long time, and hopefully someone here has a reasonable answer. I'm a cell and molecular biologist, and much of my time at the bench is spent wearing (usually nitrile) gloves. I've noticed that if I wear them for longer than 10 or 15 minutes they start accumulating sweat. However, my hands aren't clammy or damp when I'm not wearing gloves, so my question is whether my hands are always sweating at approximately the same rate, and the impermeable barrier of the gloves just traps the moisture, or does the enclosed environment inside the gloves promote sweating? My hands don't seem particularly hot when I have the gloves on, and the gloves themselves are pretty thin, although they do have some insulating properties, as I can handle items taken from a -80°C more easily gloved than bare-handed. What causes this diaphoresis?

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Skin produces a basal level of sweat all the time, so as far as makes sense to me, they simply prevent evaporation. –  Armatus May 29 '13 at 18:03

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