Sweat glands


The sweat glands are another extension of what the exocrine glands are , since they have the same function, secreting fluids that the body needs and discarding any component or fluid that can damage the body in the long run.


What are sweat glands?

This is an exocrine gland that is part of the groupings of glands that make up the exocrine system , these glands are located in the reticular dermis and in the hypodermis , they are distinguished by being thin and extensive tubes closed at the lower end where they are grouped colliding with each other, obtaining the shape of a ball. These glands have direct contact with the outside of the skin, through tiny follicles and the pores of the dermis reach there and secrete sweat, the excess fat from the body that is excreted in a liquid way , it is usually salty and its texture and acidity are similar to that of urine.

  • Definition
  • Sweat gland characteristics
  • What is the function of the sweat glands
  • Types
  • Location
  • That produce
  • Inflammation
  • Other pathologies
  • Importance of the sweat glands


The sweat glands are a cluster of long, thin, tubular cells that are located throughout the dermis , these are closed at all their lower ends and are considered exocrine glands that produce and secrete substances on the epithelial surface. through any type of conduit. These are the first layer of immunology that the human anatomy has, since it protects the subject from temperatures.


Sweat gland characteristics

These glands have a myriad of features of which help study and differentiation . Although these characteristics can be various, they are quite simple to understand and study. These are:

  • They are part of the exocrine glands, which is why they make up the large group of glands of the exocrine system .
  • They are located in the reticular dermis and in the hypodermis .
  • Thin and extensive tubes closed at the lower end where they are grouped colliding with each other, obtaining the shape of a ball.
  • They have direct contact with the outside of the skin.
  • The discharge is usually salty and its texture and acidity are similar to that of urine.
  • Together with the sebaceous glands , hair follicles and nails form what are called skin attachments.
  • They take care of the metabolism .
  • Thanks to them, the folds of the body after some time determining have a bad smell.
  • Its main function is to protect the subject from temperatures, this is called thermoregulation and is caused by sweat.
  • Another of its functions is to discard everything that the body does not need.

What is the function of the sweat glands

The main function of these exocrine glands is the thermal regulation that they initiate when they secrete sweat, this protects not only the skin, but also the body of the subject from outside temperatures, for this function it is considered that these glands are the main layer of Immune force that makes up the body, in addition to this, the sweat glands in part control and manipulate what is metabolism and thanks to the apocrine sweat glands, which are responsible for discarding all those products and fluids that are not necessary for the body and that could affect you in the long run; This process causes the folds of the body to emit bad odors from time to time, which usually appear after puberty .


Eccrine sweat glands

These are formed by a secretory glomerulus, these generally purify and purify the blood plasma, this type of glands also has an excretory duct , it is said that there are a number of 600 sweat glands for each square centimeter of skin, these have localized points concentration, such as the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and the front of the face.

The eccrine sweat glands secrete one liter of sweat daily in normal conditions, if this process becomes abnormal they could secrete up to 10 liters in severe situations, the sweat glands generally have effects on hydrochloride metabolism, thermoregulation due to the evaporation of sweat and the moisture that exists on the surface. These eccrine sweat glands and their sweat secretions are monitored or controlled by the sympathetic vegetative system , therefore, if the sympathetic system is stimulated, it will cause sweat secretion to be somewhat excessive.

Apocrine sweat glands

These are found and are emptied in the pilosebaceous follicle, which causes that when it comes to going outside to have direct contact with the skin, it is secreted together with the sebum and both are excreted at the same time, they have two parts that make it up, a secretory lobe and an excretory duct . According to experts, these glands are often irrelevant and are in involution, which means that they are not entirely necessary, they are found in few places, such as the armpit, the perineum, the pubis, the external auditory canal. and on the eyelid.

These are responsible for excreting what are pheromones, something curious is that the exocrine glands that are known as mammary are considered modified apocrine sweat glands ; However, these are the cause of the bad odors that occur in the armpits and in the parts where they are found, since the apocrine sweat glands are responsible for eliminating and excreting all the waste from the body, causing the bad odor that before puberty has a more subtle fragrance.


  • Eccrine sweat glands:  these are found throughout the skin, however, they have specific points of location, where these glands are grouped, which causes these parts to become more humid, these locations are the following: The palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and the front of the face.
  • Apocrine sweat glands:  these are found and emptied in the pilosebaceous follicle, they are commonly located in the armpits , the perineum , the pubis , the external auditory canal and in the eyelids.

That produce

The eccrine sweat glands produce and secrete sweat, to regulate body temperature and metabolism , unlike the apocrine sweat glands that produce a mixture of sweat with sebum , to excrete all those wastes that are not necessary for the body.


The inflammation of these glands is called hidradenitis and this inflammation is divided into two, which is neutrophilic eccrine hidradenitis and palmar-plantar hidradenitis, the skin is severely affected in these cases and is considered a part of the family of disorders of acne, the first symptoms or characteristics that appear are tiny bumps on the skin, which is why it resembles acne, since they look like small pimples or cysts, if this disease is not treated in time, abscesses will gradually appear, which Over time they will become larger and painful, if these lesions expand too much they usually excrete pus mixed with blood.

This disease is prevalent in women, for which men are not seriously affected and appears between 20 and 30 years of age, some factors that can accelerate or cause this process are obesity , diabetes , metabolic syndrome , arthritis or acne.

Other pathologies

  • Dysfunctions in the sweat glands: In which these sets of cells are affected, making it impossible to function and therefore limiting their secretion and excretion of the product.
  • Anhidrosis: This is distinguished by being the total absence of sweating, it usually occurs acutely at an early age, it is regularly related to the pons , the medulla oblongata and peripheral neuropathies . There are three types of damage that can occur with this pathology , which are the following, idiopathic pure sudomotor failure, sweat glandular failure and sudomotor neuropathy.
  • Localized hypohidrosis: This is determined to be the scant sweating in various anatomical locations, which can occur for dermatological or neurological reasons, the person may react in this pathological way due to an excess of stress Within this disease, the findings of two specific conditions called Ross syndrome and Harlequin syndrome have been found .
  • Hyperhidrosis: It is considered as the excess of sweating, which can be localized or general in the anatomy, generally it appears in the palms of the hands, the armpits and the soles of the feet.
  • Miliaria: This happens when some eccrine sweat duct is obstructed or obstructed, usually by keratin causing it to burst at some point due to pressure, emptying and expelling all the content in the epidermis or dermis; This disease brings as consequences high fevers and excessive heat, nursing infants are susceptible to this pathology, for which it is recommended that parents not cover them with too much clothing during the day.
  • Bromhidrosis: This is characterized by generating an excessive bad smell in the subject who suffers from it, which is caused by the alteration of the sweat glands.
  • Hidroadenitis suppurativa: This is a pathology of the suppurative, inflammatory and chronic apocrine sweat glands , affects the armpits, the perineum, the scalp, the folds of the ears and the breasts in women, they are distinguished by being painful nodules or abscesses deep and when it progresses to the level of becoming chronic it can form ulcers and fibrotic bands in the dermis.
  • Fox disease: It presents as an axillary or perianal cigar that is prevalent in women and develops through episodes of stress or worry or any type of stimulus that induces alteration of the apocrine sweat glands.

Importance of the sweat glands

The sweat glands, like all exocrine glands, are extremely important, since they dispose of all unnecessary products for the body , coupled with the fact that without sweating, not only would the metabolism get out of control, but the body would not have the ability to adapt or complement the environmental and thermal changes that constantly occur; These small details make these glands relevant to anatomy.

Its importance can be evidenced in the pathologies that occur, since only with a minimal obstruction can cause chaos, added to the fact that the conditions that concern these glands cause dermatitis and tedious diseases to treat.

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