The skin functions as an excretory tool, here’s the scientific explanation

The skin functions as a means of excretion because The skin functions as a means of excretion because it has sweat glands. The skin has about 3 to 4 million sweat glands scattered throughout the body. Combined, this total gland is equivalent to one kidney or about 100 grams.

Sweat as waste

Physiologically, sweat is released by the body through the pores of the skin to remove waste substances in the body. Sweat consists mostly of water and a small part of it is a mineral salt as a by-product of protein metabolism.

The process of sweating is important to remove excess salt and urea from the blood. That way, the homeostatic balance of the human body will be maintained.

Process of sweat excretion in humans

The base of the sweat glands is connected to the capillary blood vessels in the middle skin layer, namely the dermis layer. Sweat glands will absorb water and mineral salts from the capillaries through the process of osmosis and diffusion.

Then, the sweat glands will secrete the fluid to the skin pores. Under normal conditions, the sweat released by the body is 50 milliliters per hour. However, under special conditions, the body is able to produce up to 10 liters of sweat per day.

Read also: 4 Organs Included in the Excretory System

Different types of human sweat glands

Human skin has two kinds of sweat glands, namely eccrine and apocrine sweat glands.

Eccrine sweat glands are sweat glands controlled by the sympathetic nervous system which functions to maintain a normal body temperature. Eccrine glands are scattered throughout the human skin and will be active when the human body temperature increases, such as when the weather is hot or when you are exercising.

While the apocrine sweat glands are more specific and closely related to the presence of hair follicles. The apocrine sweat glands in humans are focused on the armpits and genital area. Glands in this area will be active when there is a stimulus in the form of puberty and emotional stress.

Smelly sweat is sweat that comes from the apocrine glands. This is because the apocrine glands along with the hair follicles release not only sweat, but also fat. The fat that comes out to the skin will be broken down by bacteria into fatty acids that smell and cause body odor.

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