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September 1949

STUDIES OF SWEATING: II. On the Mechanism of Action of Local Antiperspirants

Author Affiliations


From the Skin and Cancer Unit, Department of Dermatology and Syphilology (Dr. Marion B. Sulzberger, Director), New York Post-Graduate Medical School, New York University-Bellevue Medical Center.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1949;60(3):404-418. doi:10.1001/archderm.1949.01530030100010

ALTERATIONS of sensible perspiration are known to occur under the influence of the autonomic nervous system (e. g., stimulation after injection of pilocarpine or acetylcholine and inhibition through the use of atropine, through degeneration of peripheral nerves, and by use of local anesthetics). Moreover, the alterations occurring during the course of certain clinical diseases (e. g., miliaria rubra [prickly heat] and tropical anhidrotic asthenia) have recently received intensive study.1 But little is known of the mechanism involved in the modifications of sweat secretion which are routinely produced through topical remedies, such as the common topically applied "antiperspirants."

In fact, there is somewhat more information concerning the process of topical stimulation of sensible perspiration. In recent clinical, experimental and histologic studies, O'Brien1e elucidated the increased excretion of eccrine sweat through local application of wool fat. Similar observations had been made by P. G. Unna1f,g and later

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