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The Glands In The Skin

Categories: THE SKIN
Sources: A Handbook Of Health

Sweat Glands. Like all the pavement (epithelial) surfaces of the body,

inside and out, the skin has the power of making glands by dipping down

little pouches or pockets into the layers below. In the skin, these

little gland-pockets are of two kinds, the sweat glands and the hair


The sweat glands are tiny tubes which go twisting down through the

different pavement layers, through the basement layer
and right into

the coat of fat, which lies just under the skin. The tube of the sweat

gland soaks, or picks, out of the blood some of the waste-stuff--just as

the kidney tube does in the kidney,--together with a good deal of water

and a small amount of delicate oil, and pours them out on the surface of

the body in the form of the sweat, or perspiration.

As you will remember, when the muscles work hard and pour more waste

into the blood, then the heart pumps larger amounts of blood out into

the skin; and this causes it to redden. The sweat glands work harder to

purify this extra blood, and they pour out the waste and oil and water

on the surface. As soon as this water gets upon our hot skin, it begins

to evaporate and cool us off, as well as to carry off some of the waste

in the form of gas. The trace of oil in the perspiration helps to

lubricate the skin and keep it soft; but when too much of it is poured

out we have that greasy feeling, which we have all felt after perspiring


From all this cooling and breathing and blood-purifying work going on

upon the surface of our skin, you can easily see why it is so important

that all our clothing should be loose and porous and that next the skin

easily washed; else it will very soon become clogged up and greasy, and

shut off the breathing and blood-purifying work of the skin and make it

dirty and unhealthy. This continual mist of water, rising and bubbling

up through our skin like springs out of a hillside, is another of

nature's wonderful ways of cleansing the skin and of preventing any kind

of dirt from permanently sticking to or lodging in it. Remember, you do

not need to dig below the surface when you wash.

Hair Glands. The other kind of skin glands, the hair glands, are also

pouches growing out from the deepest part of the stem of the hair, known

as the root, or hair bulb.

From the root of the hairs, two or three little bundles of muscle run up

toward the surface of the skin. When these contract, they pull the root

of the hair up toward the surface, causing the hair to stand erect, or

bristle, as we say. This is what makes the hair on a dog's or a cat's

back stand up when he is angry; but the commonest use of the movement

is, when animals are cold, to make their coats stand out so as to hold

more air and retain the body-heat better. We have lost most of our hairy

coating, but whenever we get chilly, whether from cold or from fright,

these little muscles of our hair bulbs contract and pull the hair glands

of our skin up toward the surface, so that it looks all pimply or


Each hair pouch has sprouted out from its sides a pair of tiny pouches,

which form oil glands to lubricate the hair and keep it sleek and

flexible. It is hard to beat nature at her own game, and her method of

oiling the hair is far superior to any hair oil that can be put on from

the outside. Keep your hair well brushed and washed, and nature will oil

it for you much better than any hair oil or scalp reviver ever