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Definition of Sweat

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Sweat: A colorless transparent acidic fluid with a distinctive odor secreted by the small tubular sudoriferous (sweat) glands situated within the skin and under it in the subcutaneous tissue. The sweat glands discharge their fluid through tiny openings in the surface of the skin.

Sweat contains fatty acids and mineral matter as well as a potent anti-infective agent dubbed dermicidin. The first antimicrobial agent discovered that is produced by cells in the skin, dermicidin is active against many different types of bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E. coli), Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus and the common fungus Candida albicans.

Sweat is more politely called perspiration.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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