Physiology of Sweating

Sweating is an extremely important physiological process that has both a temperature regulation (thermoregulatory) and emotion-related role.  The majority of sweat glands are eccrine in nature and are distributed throughout entire body, although with greatest predominance in the axillae and in the palms and soles.  They produce a watery secretion that is hypotonic (weaker) than blood plasma.  Their main role is to assist in temperature control.  Thus the evaporation of the secreted sweat takes with it heat from the body and thus cools down the body temperature.  The second type of sweat glands are the apocrine glands found principally in the axillae and urogenital area.  They secrete a viscous fluid from puberty onwards and result in body odor, whether that be the characteristic odor personal to an individual or an undesired smell.