Difference Between Secretion and Excretion

Many processes that we encounter in the body have similar definitions. We tend to use such terms interchangeably. Not until we know the definitions, will we use them correctly. In this article, we shall tackle two of such terms i.e. excretion and secretion that are many times used interchangeably. Both these processes involve the movement of materials in the body. But the difference between excretion and secretion is that excretion is the removal of waste from the body that has no further use while secretion is the movement of materials from one part of the body to another. Given below in a tabular column is the difference between excretion and secretion.

Excretion vs Secretion

Excretion Secretion
Excretion is a process of movement of materials from one part of the body to another Secretion is the process of removal of waste materials from the body
Materials like enzymes, saliva and hormones are secreted in the body Materials like carbon dioxide, sweat, tears, faeces and urine are excreted from the body
It is an active process It is a passive process
The secreted substances are involved in the metabolism of the body The excreted substances are no longer of use to the body they are eliminated from the body
Endocrine glands, salivary glands, digestive glands, liver, pancreas and gallbladder are involved in the process of secretion Lungs, skin, tear ducts and rectum are involved in the process of secretion

From the differences between secretion and excretion listed above, we can infer that important substance necessary for the body is secreted by organs and glands in the body. Excretion mainly deals with the elimination of wastes like urea and sweat that is of no use to the body.

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