These glands produce sweat that contains organic molecules (lipids and proteins) and pheromones . Mainly present on the face, in the armpits, and around the genital area, their activity is the main cause of sweat odor, due to the bacteria that break down the organic compounds in the sweat.
The name apocrine sweat gland is archaic; these glands are no longer believed to secrete their products by an apocrine mechanism in which the apical portion of the cell is sloughed off with secretory products inside. Rather, the apocrine sweat glands secrete in an merocrine fashion: membrane-bound vesicles bind to the plasma membrane of secretory cells and release products by exocytosis with no net loss of the plasma membrane. These glands are still called apocrine sweat glands to distinguish them from the eccrine sweat glands.