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May 20, 1933


JAMA. 1933;100(20):1602. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740200036012

In an older period of clinical medicine, the skin and the kidneys were usually considered together as eliminatory organs for the body. Consequently, when difficulties in the excretory functions of the renal structures arose it was not uncommon to spur the skin to act in a vicarious rôle as far as possible. Diaphoretics or sudorifics were administered in many instances of nephritis with the hope that the resulting profuse perspiration might help to remove "waste products" that were ordinarily represented in the urine. Presently it began to be realized that although sweating may help to bring about loss of water, as in the anasarca of nephritis, and that it unquestionably facilitates the removal of heat, the amount of saline and nitrogenous waste thus carried away does not bulk large. For many years, therefore, little attention was paid to the components of sweat other than water. Perspiration was associated primarily, as