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Article
August 1952

METHODS OF EXPLORING HUMAN APOCRINE SWEAT GLAND PHYSIOLOGY

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology (Dr. Donald M. Pillsbury, Director), University of Pennsylvania Medical School.

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1952;66(2):156-161. doi:10.1001/archderm.1952.01530270014003
Abstract

FOR CENTURIES it has been known that there are large, grossly visible sweat glands in the axillae of man. It has been known almost as long that these large sweat glands produce an odoriferous secretion of variable color. Through the years, anatomists learned that these glands are not limited to the axillary region. They are present in the mammary region, in the pubic area, around the umbilicus, on the labia, and about the anus. Moreover, they are seen in modified forms in the eyelid (glands of Moll) and in the external auditory canal ("wax glands"). Comparative histologic studies revealed that the apocrine sweat gland is found in all mammals. Early histologic investigations indicated that the apocrine secretion was a unique type, in that in addition to the secretion of fluid there was a "decapitation" of secretory cells. This cellular secretion manifests itself in the lacteous appearance of the apocrine sweat.1

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