sebaceous gland

sebaceous gland

Small oil-producing gland in the skin, usually connected to a hair follicle by a duct into which it releases sebum, a component of the slightly greasy film on the skin that helps keep it flexible and prevents too much water loss or absorption. The glands are distributed over the entire body except the palms and soles, most abundantly on the scalp and face. Large and well developed at birth, they shrink during childhood but enlarge again and increase their sebum output at puberty (apparently in response to male hormones), often leading to acne.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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