What do they do?
Eccrine glands are sweat glands. They are found in high density on the palms and soles. The third highest density goes to the scalp.
Eccrine glands secrete sweat (mostly made of salt water) but also potassium and bicarbonate.
Eccrine glands play a key role in "thermoregulation" - they help us stay cool and warm. By secreting salt water on the surface, heat from the body gets used up to evaporate the water and the surface cools down.
Eccrine glands also get activated after emotional stress (fear, pain, anxiety provoking situations). It's easier to see scalp sweating in a bald individual but really anyone can feel the increased moisture on the scalp after high physical activity, stress or emotions.
It is easier to see eccrine gland openings in patients with darker skin (as shown here).
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887