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Function of Sweat Glands and Benefits of Sweating

What is a Sweat Gland?

Sweat Glands which are also known by the name of Sudoriferous Glands cover almost the entire surface of the body but are especially found in abundance in the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, armpits, and the forehead. The Sweat Glands are responsible for producing what is known as Sweat or Perspiration which cools down the body and gets rid of any excess salt in the body. When we speak of Sweat or Perspiration, it is composed mainly of water but it also has various salts and organic compounds. It also contains some amount of urea and other waste products. In soaring temperatures, some amount of sodium is also lost in the form of sweat but as the person gets acclimated to the conditions then this amount gets less and less. The presence of sodium gives the Sweat or Perspiration a salty taste. In this article we will learn about the function of sweat glands and the benefits of sweating but before that lets read about the classification of sweat glands.

Function of Sweat Glands and Benefits of Sweating

What are the Classifications of Sweat Glands?

When it comes to classification of Sweat Glands, there are two main types of sweat glands which are the Eccrine Glands and the Apocrine Glands.

Eccrine Glands: The Eccrine Glands are distributed all over the body but are found mostly in the palm of the hands, soles of the feet, and the forehead. These glands discharge the secretions directly to the surface of the skin. Their main function is regulating the temperature of the body and excretion of waste products from the body. For regulating the temperature, the Sweat or Perspiration that comes out to the surface of the body cools the body from the outside heat. It also helps in elimination of excess salt and other electrolytes in the body

Apocrine Glands: These glands are found in the armpits. These glands are larger than the Eccrine Glands. These glands produce a secretion which is viscous and cloudy in nature. This secretion when it comes to the surface of the body gets mixed with the bacteria in the atmosphere and produces a foul odor for which we use deodorants in the armpits. Apocrine Glands discharge their secretions in the canals of hair follicles. These glands start function only after a person has attained puberty.

What is the Function of Sweat Glands?

As stated, the primary function of these glands is to regulate the function of the body. For example, if the weather is too hot outside the body temperature increases then the sweat glands release Sweat or Perspiration from the body which in turn cools the body down. These glands are also useful in excreting excess salt and other electrolytes from the body.

What are the Benefits of Sweating?

Below mentioned are some of the health benefits of Sweat or Perspiration.

Sweat is Beneficial in Production of Endorphins: when an individual does an extended workout in the gym or does a brisk walk out in the sun it results in Sweat or Perspiration. This increases the production of endorphins which makes the individual feel good about himself.

Detoxification Benefits of Sweating: As stated above, one of the functions of the Sweat Glands is to excrete excess salts and other electrolytes including ammonia, sodium, cholesterol, and alcohol. This result in elimination of any harmful toxins in the body and hence detoxify the body.

Sweating is Beneficial in Lowering the Risk of Kidney Stones: Sweat or Perspiration can also help in lowering the risk of having renal stones, as they help in getting rid of excess salt and retain the calcium in the bones which in turn results in less collection of salt and calcium in the kidneys. Hence, Sweat or Perspiration plays an important role in decreasing the risk of kidney stones. That is why it is recommended to drink plenty of water and fluids as a way to prevent renal stones.

Benefits of Sweating in Preventing Illnesses: it has been proved that Sweat or Perspiration has something called as antimicrobial peptides which are very effective in fighting off bacteria, viruses, and fungi which help in preventing various illnesses caused by these organisms.


  1. Guyton, A. C., & Hall, J. E. (2000). Textbook of Medical Physiology. W.B. Saunders Company.
  2. Tiselius, H. G., & Larsson, L. (1997). Intra-individual variation in 24-hour urine concentration in healthy subjects. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, 57(4), 317-324.
  3. Lambert, E. A., & Straznicky, N. E. (2019). Differing pattern of sympathoexcitation in normal-weight and obesity-related metabolic syndrome. Frontiers in Physiology, 10, 90.
  4. National Kidney Foundation. (2021). Kidney Stones. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones
  5. National Institutes of Health. (2020). Antimicrobial peptides and sweat: antimicrobial peptide expression and activity is a human evolutionary feature. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31980600/
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 5, 2023

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