Eccrine sweat glands

One of the major sweat glands distributed over the entire surface of the body.


Eccrine sweat glands are everywhere except the lips, ear canal, prepuce, glans penis, labia minora, and clitoris.


They are ten times smaller than apocrine sweat glands.


They do not extend as deeply into the dermis, and excrete directly onto the surface of the skin.


The number  of eccrine glands decreases with age.


Sweat is the clear secretion produced by eccrine sweat glands.


Perpiration  is mostly water, but it does contain some electrolytes.


The presence of sodium chloride gives sweat a salty taste.


The maximum capacity of the eccrine sweat glands may exceed 3 L per hour of perspiration.


Have an important role in temperature regulation.

Most dense on the palms an soles and are innervated by sympathetic nerve fibers.


Three functions of eccrine sweat glands are:


Thermoregulation: sweat cools the surface of the skin and reduces body temperature.


Excretion: eccrine sweat gland secretion can also provide a significant excretory route for water and electrolytes.


Protection: eccrine sweat gland secretion aids in preserving the skin’s acid mantle, which helps protect the skin from colonization from bacteria and other pathogenic organisms.


Eccrine carcinomas are rare entities.

Eccrine carcinomas are a mixed group of tumors that may arise de novo or by a malignant transformation of a pre-existing benign eccrine tumor.

Eccrine tumors arise as a single, painless, nodular lesion, which is reddish or purple in color.

Eccrine tumors have a slight female predilection, and is mainly seen in the elderly, with most patients over the age of 50 years.

Eccrine carcinomas rarely ulcerate.

Eccrine carcinomas usually present with lesions 2-3 cm in size, but can range from 1-10cm.

Eccrine carcinoma lesions of the head and neck predominate.

No known etiology, although some cases of eccrine carcinoma occur after radiation therapy.

Histologically eccrine carcinomas associated with basaloid epithelial cells and invasive architecture, with adenocarcinomatous features and remnants of sweat gland structure.

50% of cases of eccrine carcinomas cured with wide local excision.

Local recurrences of eccrine carcinomas are common and is noted in 2/3 of patients.

Eccrine carcinomas associated with 5 and 10 year survival rates in patients without lymph node involvement of 67% and 56%, respectively.

Eccrine carcinoma associated with distant metastases in 5% of cases and are often fatal.

Eccrine carcinomas often resistnat to radiotherapy and chemotherapy.


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