This probablly sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it concerns me. Has anyone ever heard of a person's sweat being blue in colour? I'm talking ink-blue! My mother has had this problem for five years and cannot figure out what it is. All her bras have blue marks on them and she just cannot wear white clothes as they are ruined by the end of the day! Has enyone ever heard of this before? My mother's doctor doesn't know what is causing it and is just as baffled as us. Anyone?
That certainly sounds odd. Have you actually seen any blue discoloration of
the baby's skin or clothes?
Here's an equally odd thought... I wonder if the blue stains are actually
the result of a chemical reaction taking place in the clothing. For example,
if the mom is obsessive about keeping her new baby clean and tidy, she might
be washing the child with an iodine-based soap and adding starch to the
clothes. Of course, iodine + starch = blue.
Maybe you could try a little experiment of your own...
1. Cleanse a sweaty area of the child's skin and rinse well with plain water
to remove any possible traces of iodine from the skin. Dry with plain gauze.
(Don't use white paper towels because they may contain starch!)
2. Next, apply a sterile 2x2 white gauze to the site and cover it completely
with an occlusive dressing. Instruct the parent to keep the dressing dry and
intact, and return after 24 hours for removal. Also instruct parent to dress
the child in light colored clothing during that same period of time (white,
if possible), and to bring all worn clothes to the recheck appointment.
3. Remove the sweaty piece of gauze and evaluate its color by comparing it to
a new sterile 2x2. Allow the sweat to evaporate and compare again. Evaluate
the articles of clothing worn during the same period of time for any blue
discoloration, and observe any stain patterns. (ie: Are new stains absent in
the occluded-skin area?)
Interesting question! I hope you will provide some followup to the list.
The name of the condition is Chromhidrosis.
Background: Chromhidrosis is an extremely rare condition characterized by intensely colored sweat, mostly secondary to colored apocrine secretions. Chromhidrosis is a localized disease of apocrine-bearing skin, affecting the face, axillae, or areola. Approximately 10% of people without the disease have yellow, blue, or green sweat that is regarded as acceptable and within the normal range.
True eccrine chromhidrosis is rare.
The term pseudochromhidrosis is used when initially colorless sweat that is eccrine in origin becomes colored on the surface of the skin in contrast to true chromhidrosis, in which sweat already is colored prior to secretion on the surface.
Pathophysiology: An increased synthesis of tyrosine, heme, and melanin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of apocrine chromhidrosis. However, more evidence supports elevated levels of lipofuscins in the glands that cannot be accounted for by a systemic or acquired metabolic or dietary alteration. Substance P is postulated to be an important neurotransmitter in this process.
As previously defined, eccrine pseudochromhidrosis is of extrinsic etiology, in which a chemical on the surface of the skin reacts with eccrine secretions and produces the transformation in color.
In the US: Incidence statistics are not available; the disease is rare.
Mortality/Morbidity: No medical sequelae are seen, except the psychological impact on and embarrassment of the patient.
Race: A racial difference applies to the appearance of wax produced by ceruminous glands (modified apocrine glands). For example, Asians produce white cerumen, and Occidentals produce yellow cerumen.
Apocrine chromhidrosis appears to be more common in blacks than in whites.
Age: The condition occurs most commonly after puberty but may be seen at any age. As apocrine glands regress with age, the incidence of apocrine chromhidrosis appears to decline.
History: Comparatively, the quantities of apocrine sweat are much less than those of eccrine sweat.
Usually, patients complain of axillary staining of the undershirt and, less frequently, of staining of the face or areola. Yellow is the most common color of axillary staining.
An aura of warmth or a prickly sensation prompted by emotional or physical excitation may precede onset of colored sweat.
Facial apocrine chromhidrosis rarely is seen. It occurs most commonly on the cheeks and malar eminences. The secretion often can be expressed mechanically.
Physical: Upon careful inspection, it often is possible to identify the following signs:
Yellow, red, blue, or green secretion that is turbid.
Staining that is accentuated in the orifices and pores.
Glistening, adherent, deeply colored flecks that appear as the secretions dry.
Causes: Several extrinsic causes may be involved as follows:
Chromogenic bacteria, especially Corynebacterium species
Dyes and chemical contactants
Other Problems to be Considered:
Wood lamp examination of colored sweat may be positive. If no sweat is produced at the time of the test, drugs may be used to stimulate sweat secretion.
A more refined test involves autofluorescence of clothing fibers in contact with the secretions using standard UV microscopy.
Perform complete blood counts to exclude bleeding diathesis.
Test urinary homogentisic acid levels to exclude alkaptonuria.
Histologic Findings: The number of glands is variable. Yellow-brown granules may be observed in the apical area of secretory cells on hematoxylin and eosin stain. The granules are periodic acid-Schiff positive and demonstrate autofluorescence corresponding to the lipofuscins.
Medical Care: Reports of successful treatment with capsaicin cream exist; however, relapse occurs when therapy is stopped. The presumable mechanism of action is neuron depletion of substance P, an important neurotransmitter for apocrine sweat production
Copy this off and have your mother show this to the doc. I would have posted the website here but that is against policy so I just posted the info for you to see. I am sure if you do a search on this topic you will find more info than what I have posted but at least now you have a clue what it going on. As you can see this might just turn out to be normal for her but hopefully if she shows the doc all the info it will shed some light on her problem.
Spotty and mlgable, thank you so much for your replies. mlgable, i also want to thank you for the information that you posted. It was very useful and at least now we are not in the dark about what this is. My mom will be quite relieved to finally find out what it is. Thanks once again <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">