An accidental accumulation of cases of abnormal secretion from the mammary glands in non-pregnant women, coming under my observation, led me to investigate the literature on this curious phenomenon.
The occasional occurrence of such an abnormal secretion in the newborn of either sex is sufficiently known, but a satisfactory explanation has not yet been given. Steifensand,1 in 1845, was the first to call attention to the fact that, in the newborn, all glands exhibit a very pronounced activity. Basch2 ascribes the phenomenon to the welling up of the secretion toward the surface, thereby loosening the hornified epithelium which clogs the orifices of the milk ducts. Bumm3 says that the skin of the newborn is very sensitive and responds to the influence of air and light by reddening and exfoliation of the uppermost layers of the epidermis. This irritation of the skin is also the cause of the
GELLHORN G. ABNORMAL SECRETION FROM THE MAMMARY GLANDS IN NON-PREGNANT WOMEN. JAMA. 1908;LI(22):1839–1844. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410220011002c
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