Sweat

Drops of sweat

Sweat is a liquid that is made by the skin when the body is hot. Sweat is made in sweat glands under the surface of the skin, and it comes out of tiny holes in the skin called pores. Sweat is mostly water, but it also contains some salts.

The body makes sweat to cool itself down. The sweat takes the heat from the body when it evaporates (turns to gas).

Some people think sweat makes a person smell bad. Many people use special sprays to stop this from happening. Deodorants hide the odor of sweat. Anti-perspirants stop the body from sweating.

The sweat glands in our skin contains two different groups of sweat glands: apocrine sweat glands and merocrine sweat glands.

Sweat also helps to remove waste from the body.

Perspiration, or sweat, is your body's way of cooling itself, whether that extra heat comes from hardworking muscles or from overstimulated nerves. The average person has over 4 million sweat glands in their skin. Sweat glands are distributed over the entire body, except for the lips, nipples and external genital organs. The sweat gland is in the layer of skin called the dermis along with other "equipment," such as nerve endings, hair follicles and so on.

Sweat glands

The sweat gland is a long, coiled, hollow tube of cells. The coiled part in the dermis is where sweat is made, and the long part is a duct that connects the gland to the opening or pore on the skins's outer surface. Nerve cells from the sympathetic nervous system are connected to the sweat glands. There are two types of sweat glands:

  • Eccrine - the most numerous type that are found all over the body, particularly on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and forehead. They are smaller, are active from birth, and they produce a sweat with no proteins.
  • Apocrine - the ones in the armpits (axilla) and the anal-genital area. They are larger than eccrine glands and they normally end in hairs rather than pores. Also, they do not do anything until puberty.
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