Difference between Sweat and Sebum

An Overview

Both sweat and sebum are excretory products, released, excreted or eliminated out of our body with the help of two different types of glands present in the human skin. Both sweat and sebum are present in the layer of skin and mostly near the hair follicles.


Sweat is a liquid or a fluid-like excretory product, which is secreted and excreted out by the sweat glands present on the surface of the human skin. There are around three to four million sweat glands present in the human body, which are distributed all over the human body including the forehead, cheeks, armpits, palms, soles of the feet, etc.


Sebum is generally defined as the solid or a wax-like excretory product, which is eliminated out by the sebaceous glands. They are sac-like shaped glands, located in the dermis layer of the skin.

Explore more: The Structure and Function of Skin

Let’s learn the differences between sweat and sebum.

Sweat and Sebum – Differences.

Sweat is secreted by sweat glands. Sebum is secreted by sebaceous glands or oil glands.
Sweat is composed of water and salts. Sebum is composed of oil, fatty acids, waxes and cholesterol.
Sweat is of a bad odour. Sebum is odourless.
Type of secretion
Sweat is fluid in nature. Sebum is oily in nature.
Discharged from
Sweat is discharged from the surface of the skin. Sebaceous glands associated with the hair follicles secrete sebum.
Involved in
Thermoregulation. Lubrication.
Present in
Present only in specific regions of the body like eyelids, ear, armpits, etc. Present throughout the body except for palms and soles.

Also Refer: Excretion And Its Importance

This concludes some of the basic differences between sweat and sebum. Stay tuned with BYJU’S Biology for more differences and other Biology related topics.

Test Your Knowledge On Difference Between Sweat And Sebum!


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.