Difference Between Apocrine and Merocrine Sweat Glands

Apocrine sweat glands are found associated with hair follicles and only become active at puberty. Merocrine sweat glands are plant throughout the skin and produce a watery sweat from birth.

What is Apocrine Sweat Gland?


An apocrine sweat gland is a type of gland that is associated with a hair follicle and that produces a type of sweat that tends to have an odor.


These glands are always associated with pilus follicles. An apocrine gland has a coiled structure that secretes sweat and then a duct through which the secretion passes. The duct opens into the hair follicle.


The apocrine glands are found mostly in the armpits, in the genital area, and by the nipples. They are also found in the ear culvert and on the eyelids. These glands are found quite deep in the skin in the dermis or subcutaneous fat layer. These sweat glands are less abundant than the merocrine glands since they are only institute in certain parts of the human torso.

Secretion method and office:

The apocrine secretions are released when the summit part of the jail cell disintegrates. Apocrine gland secretions are idea to perchance exist pheromones that are involved in sexual role. This is the function of these glands in the lower mammals, and may play a similar role in humans. More enquiry, even so, is needed on the office of these glands in humans. The apocrine sweat glands do likewise secrete sweat when a person feels strong emotions such as fear and anxiety.

Pathological conditions:

Apocrine bromhidrosis is when too much sweat is secreted from these glands resulting in unpleasant body odor. Apocrine chromhidrosis is a disorder in which colored sweat is produced, but this is a rare disorder.

What is Merocrine Sweat Gland?


These glands occur throughout the trunk but are more than concentrated on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet.

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A merocrine sweat gland is comprised of a direct department and a secretory coiled role. These particular sweat glands are much smaller than apocrine sweat glands, being only near 1/10 the size.


The merocrine glands are widespread and constitute in the peel throughout the trunk with the highest concentrations in some areas such every bit the soles of the anxiety. The glands are located in the dermis and hypodermis of the peel, and unlike the apocrine sweat glands are non associated with pilus follicles. This means that these glands open up direct onto the epidermis of the peel, unlike the apocrine glands.

Secretion method and function:

Apocrine glands secrete sweat formed in vesicles by a procedure of exocytosis. Exocytosis is when a vesicle containing a substance fuses with the jail cell membrane and then opens to the external surround to release its contents. The sweat produced by the merocrine sweat glands helps the body to cool down in hot conditions. This thermoregulatory function is controlled past the primal nervous system, which at higher temperatures triggers the secretion and release of sweat from the merocrine glands. The sweat helps the body absurd down every bit it evaporates from the skin.

Pathological conditions:

Primary focal hyperhidrosis is when the merocrine sweat glands are overly agile, producing too much sweat. This can crusade clammy hands and feet but likewise increases the risk of skin infections because the moist surround attracts bacterial and fungal overgrowth.

Difference betwixt Apocrine and Merocrine sweat glands


An apocrine sweat gland is a sweat gland associated with hair and establish in only certain parts of the torso. A merocrine sweat gland is a type of gland that is found throughout the body.

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The apocrine gland is about 10 times larger than the merocrine gland. The merocrine gland is nigh 1/10th
the size of the apocrine gland.


The action of an apocrine gland begins at puberty even though these glands are present from the time of nascency. The action of a merocrine gland begins at birth.

Method of secretion

Apocrine sweat gland secretion involves the part of the cell containing the secretion pinching off completely from the rest of the cell. Merocrine sweat gland secretion involves exocytosis of vesicles containing the sweat.

Secretion components

The components of apocrine sweat gland secretions include salt ,h2o, and organic compounds. The components of merocrine sweat gland secretions include antibodies, water, and antimicrobial compounds.

 Table comparison Apocrine and Merocrine sweat glands

Summary of  Apocrine Vs. Merocrine sweat glands

  • Apocrine and merocrine sweat glands both occur in the skin.
  • Apocrine secretion is different from merocrine secretion.
  • Merocrine sweat glands are active at birth while apocrine glands merely become agile at puberty.


What are the main differences between merocrine, holocrine, and apocrine methods of secretion?

Merocrine glands secrete substances by exocytosis. In the instance of holocrine secretion, the prison cell membrane disintegrates and the cell is destroyed in the process of secretion of products formed in the cytoplasm. In apocrine glands, secretion is past part of the cell that contains the secretory products pinching off from the rest of the jail cell.

What is the main difference between eccrine and apocrine glands?

Eccrine glands open up up directly onto the epidermis of the skin while apocrine glands open up upwardly into pilus follicles, which and then open onto the epidermis.

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