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July 27, 1964

Colored Sweat: A Sleeping Sickness

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1964;189(4):332. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070040082029

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To the Editor:—  Regarding "yellow sweat" (JAMA186:1029 [Dec 14] 1963 and 188:654 [May 18] 1964), I have seen two cases demonstrating an unusual source of suddenly acquired skin color. In one case the skin was a bright yellow color and in another a dusky gray. The first case was initially confused with jaundice, but scleral icterus was not present.Investigation of both cases revealed no abnormality except unnatural skin color uniformly distributed over the body surfaces, including the face. Both cases were traced to dyes in brightly colored cotton pajamas. These dyes were not identified, but repeated laundering of the pajamas failed to reduce their skin-staining ability to an appreciable extent. Skin color returned to normal a few days after pajama changes. After several thorough launderings the offending pajamas were worn again, and abnormal skin color returned overnight.

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