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September 1961

Fox-Fordyce Disease: An Endocrinological Study

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Dermatology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Michigan Medical School.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(3):452-458. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580150098016

Recent studies of patients with Fox-Fordyce disease1-5 have demonstrated a paraductal apocrine sweat retention vesicle in the epidermis of involved areas. The disturbance may therefore be considered an ``apocrine miliaria''1 in which the pruritus is caused by extravasated apocrine sweat produced upon stimulation of the large sweat glands. However, there has been no satisfactory explanation offered for (a) the abnormal accumulation of keratin at the follicular orifices, (b) the predilection for this condition to occur in women within the years of active reproductive life, (c) the reported tendency for improvement during pregnancy,6,7 or (d) for the premenstrual or menstrual exacerbation of pruritus in many patients.8-20

Concurring with Shelley and Levy's suggestion1 that an endocrinological approach to the study of this disorder might be the most rewarding, we have attempted to clarify some of the above observations through a series of hormonal studies performed in the

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