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August 1955

Acrine Sweat Retention in Man: Apocrine Retention Cysts

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology (Donald M. Pillsbury, M.D., Director), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;72(2):171-172. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.03730320073011

The ophthalmologists are well acquainted with retention cysts of the glands of Moll. Duke-Elder's encyclopedic textbook of ophthalmology1 describes them as pinkish, transparent vesicles noted only in the ciliary margin of the eyelid. They develop slowly and may reach large size without any tendency to shrink or disappear. They may be unilocular or multilocular. Simple puncture of the cyst empties it, but recurrence is the rule. Excision or destruction by electrodesiccation is the only satisfactory type of treatment.

During the last two years we have seen four patients with retention cysts of the glands of Moll. Recognizing that this gland belongs to the apocrine group of sweat glands, one would suspect that apocrine sweat-retention cysts could occur wherever apocrine glands are found. However, the medical literature is silent on this point.

Our initial studies rapidly convinced us that apocrine sweat-retention cysts are actually common in apocrine

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