Sweat Glands

Do you know that there are about four million sweat glands all over the human body? Sweat glands cause sweating. And sweating is a normal thermoregulatory body function because it helps to cool the body of the heat coming from hot weather, strenuous work-out or exercise, or even hormonal imbalances especially during puberty and menopausal stages.

When a person sweats, he feels a cooling effect that refreshes the entire body. Sweating is also an indicator of emotional response to stressful situation like fear, panic, anger and anxiety. In fact, hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating of the face, hands or palm, armpits, and feet, including the groin has been linked more frequently to emotional stimuli that trigger the disorder.

Sweat glands are tiny tubular structure in the skin that secretes sweat excreted by the skin. Perspiration is another term for sweat. Because the skin is the largest organ in the human body, sweat glands are widely distributed where there is skin. Except for the lips, some parts of the genitals and the nipples (areolas), you can find sweat glands in every part of the body.

The sweat glands are mainly controlled by the sympathetic nervous system which is a part of the autonomic nervous system. This means that the sympathetic nerves are responsible for many involuntary actions of man like sweating. There are two kinds of sweat glands:

  • Eccrine sweat glands
  • Apocrine sweat glands

Eccrine Sweat Glands

Eccrine sweat glands are tinier compared to apocrine glands. The ducts of the eccrine glands are coiled, tube-shaped and can be found deep under the skin. The sweat glands produce clear secretion called sensible perspiration. This clear sweat fluid is discharged directly on the surface of the skin through the pores. The fluid is composed of water and salts such as sodium, chloride, potassium, urea, bicarbonate, calcium as well as other excretions from the body such as amino acids. Sodium chloride makes the sweat salty. Eccrine glands are what cover most part of the body specifically the hands, soles, face, forehead, arms and legs.

Apocrine Sweat Glands

Fluid discharged by the apocrine glands contain protein, ammonia, lipids, and chromogranins . The apocrine glands are also coiled and tubular but their fluid secretion are thick, cloudy and can produce odor. These glands are larger than the eccrine glands and discharges pass through the hair follicles. Where can we find apocrine glands? These are the sweat glands in the  underarm, eyelids, outer ear canal, perianal (near the anal area), areole, (nipple), periumbilical (around the belly button) and genital area.

The apocrine glands are also known as scent glands. Their main function is to emit sexual scents for sexual attraction. This is not the same scent that individuals produce resulting to an unpleasant odor. The scent that apocrine glands gives off is like a sex hormone scent or a pheromone, which stimulates the olfactory nerves to send the message of sexual arousal or attraction.

Because sweat glands are everywhere in the body, there is no wonder that a person can suffer from excessive sweating and literally can have dripping hands. But if you’re thinking of undergoing a noninvasive Botox for excessive sweating, identify what part of your body has the problem. Botox may work well with eccrine glands but success rates for apocrine glands may be minimal.

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