Difference Between Sebaceous and Sweat Glands

Though both, sebaceous glands and sweat glands, are found in the dermis of the mammalian skin, there are differences between sebaceous and sweat glands in a number of ways, which will be discussed in this article. Gland is a group of cells or an organ that have the ability to produce a secretion that has the effect somewhere else in the body. All the glands, depending on their physiology, can be categorized as exocrine or endocrine. Human skin contains two types of cutaneous glands: sweat gland and sebaceous gland. These two types of glands are categorized under exocrine glands as their secretions do not circulate with the blood, but move onto an outer surface.

What are Sebaceous Glands?

Sebaceous glands are holocrine glands and are usually located by the side of hair follicles. These glands are responsible for producing and secreting sebum, which is oily in nature and help to keep the skin soft and moist. Moreover, sebum also helps to keep the hair shaft moist and waterproof. Epithelial cells are disintegrated within the glands to produce sebum. Sebum are squeezed out from the gland by the contractions of integumentary muscles. There are no sebaceous glands associated with the hairs found on the lips, labia minora, lips and nipples.

What are Sweat Glands?

Sweat glands are duct glands found in the skin and responsible for the secretion of sweat, which are watery in nature. The duct of the gland is opened at the skin surface by minute pore. There are two types of sweat glands; eccrine sweat glands and apocrine sweat glands. Eccrine sweat glands secrete thin sweat and are not associated with hairs. Eccrine secretions are crucial for thermo-regulation of animals. Eccrine sweat glands are abundantly found on the areas like soles and palms, and their secretions help to enhance the adhesion and tactile sensitivity. Unlike the eccrine sweat glands, apocrine sweat glands secrete a more viscous sweat and are found near hair follicles. Eccrine glands start their functions soon after the birth, but apocrine glands function only at the puberty. In addition to thermo-regulation, sweat glands also excrete certain amount of nitrogenous wastes through sweat in the form of perspiration.

What is the difference between Sebaceous Glands and Sweat Glands?

• Sweat glands are duct glands, whereas sebaceous glands are ductless.

• Sweat gland secretes sweat, which is watery in nature. Sebaceous glands secretes sebum, which is oily in nature.

• Sweat glands are important to control the temperature of the body and excrete waste products, whereas sebaceous glands are important to make the skin soft and moist.

• Unlike the sweat glands, sebaceous glands are modified to form mammary glands, tarsal glands, and ceruminous glands.