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May 1957

Some Histochemical Observations on the Human Eccrine Sweat Glands: II. The Pathogenesis of Miliaria

Author Affiliations

Hanover, N. H.

From the Department of Dermatology, Hitchcock Clinic and Dartmouth Medical School.

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;75(5):653-666. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550170021004


Miliaria is a generic term for those diseases which occur when the free flow of eccrine sweat to the surface is impeded, with the result that sweat is retained within the skin. The sweat-retention dermatoses arise in apparently normal skin or as a complication of any inflammatory disease of the skin. Miliaria is commonest in the summer months, but it can occur in any season if the activity or state of health of the person induces sweating. There is also a definite individual susceptibility to the sweat-retention diseases since not all persons will develop miliaria despite an environment conducive to its development.1

Usually several days to weeks of profuse sweating must occur prior to the onset of clinical disease. Once established, miliaria may continue indefinitely, provided the stimulus for profuse sweating persists. In the tropics, after recurrent episodes of miliaria rubra, miliaria profunda with its severe