Types of Sweat Gland – Eccrine Sweat Glands – Apocrine Sweat Glands

 Types of Sweat Gland: The sweat gland is responsible for the production of sweat, a substance that acts in the body’s thermoregulation.

Types of Sweat Gland

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 The skin is one of the largest organs in our body, accounting for around 12% of our entire dry weight. In it we find several attachments, such as hair follicles, nails and glands . Among the glands, the sweat gland stands out , which is responsible for the production of sweat, which, in turn, has human thermoregulation as its main function.

The sweat gland is a type of exocrine gland, that is, it releases its secretion through ducts on the free surface of the body (body surface or organ lumen). Thanks to this characteristic, we can divide the sweat gland into two parts: the conductive and the secretory. Regarding the shape of the secretory portion, this gland is classified as coiled tubular.

The sweat gland can be classified into two types: eccrine and apocrine sweat glands. Eccrines are those that release their secretion without loss of the cytoplasm of the secretory cell. Apocrines, on the other hand, eliminate secretion with portions of the cytoplasm.

Eccrine sweat glands , also called merocrine, are the most frequent, not only found in the lips, nail beds and eardrums. They consist of a secretory portion with dark and light cells. The dark cells produce glycoproteins, while the white ones eliminate the watery portion of the sweat. The secretion of the eccrine glands is eliminated directly on the surface of the human body.

Sometimes the eccrine glands begin to sweat excessively, in a condition known as hyperhidrosis . In these cases, an exaggerated increase in sweating is observed, especially on the hands, feet, face and armpit, which causes considerable embarrassment to the patient.

Apocrine sweat glands are less frequent and are located in the armpits, breast areolas, genital region and perianal region. These glands begin to function at puberty and the secretion varies according to their location and also to the action of sex hormones. However, in general, this secretion is more viscous when compared to that eliminated by the eccrine glands. Another point worth mentioning is the fact that the secretion produced by these glands is eliminated in the channels of the hair follicles, unlike merocrine, which is released on the surface of the body.

The secretion produced by the apocrine sweat glands, contrary to what many think, has no smell. The unpleasant odor is characteristic of the development of bacteria in the region.


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