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Many processes that we encounter in the body have similar definitions.

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, whereas secretion involves the movement of materials within the body. Given below in a tabular column is the difference between excretion and 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 inside the body, whereas excretion mainly deals with the elimination of wastes like sweat and urea, that are of no use to the body.

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Secretion is a process of movement of materials internally – such as hormonal secretion, mucosal secretion, lubrication protection, etc.

Excretion is the process of waste removal from the body

Materials like hormones, enzymes and saliva are secreted in the body.

Materials like carbon dioxide, sweat, tears, faeces and urine are excreted out

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, digestive glands, salivary glands, liver, pancreas and gallbladder are involved in the process of secretion

Lungs, skin, tear ducts and rectum are involved in the process of excretion