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Author: Dr Duncan Lyons, Resident Medical Officer, Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Medical Editor: Dr Helen Gordon, Dermatology Registrar, Auckland, New Zealand. DermNet NZ Editor in Chief: Adjunct A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand. Copy edited by Gus Mitchell. July 2020.
Apocrine chromhidrosis is the production of coloured sweat from the apocrine sweat glands.
Apocrine chromhidrosis is rare. It usually starts after puberty once the apocrine glands have matured. Chromhidrosis occurs in both sexes .
Apocrine chromhidrosis is usually due to lipofuscin granules in the apocrine sweat glands. It is thought that lipofuscin is produced from the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids within the gland. It is unknown why this happens.
Apocrine chromhidrosis presents with coloured sweat localised to the distribution of the apocrine glands in the axillae, on the face (particularly the cheeks), breast areolae, and anogenital regions.
Sweat may be coloured blue, black, green, brown, or yellow, depending on the oxidation state of the lipofuscin staining the skin and clothing [1,2].
The secretion of coloured sweat can be preceded by a prickly sensation or warmth on the affected skin .
Pseudochromhidrosis is sweat coloured after it has been secreted. It is more common than chromhidrosis.
Eccrine chromhidrosis is the production of coloured sweat from the eccrine sweat glands. It is more widespread than apocrine chromhidrosis as eccrine glands are widely distributed over the body and concentrated on the palms and soles.
Apocrine chromhidrosis is often diagnosed clinically. The following may be used to confirm the diagnosis .
Other tests may include:
Treatments that have had some success in apocrine chromhidrosis include:
Apocrine chromhidrosis is a benign chronic condition. It slowly regresses with advancing age as the apocrine glands gradually return to their original state [3,4].
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