The belief that impurities might be removed from the body by means of sweating dates from ancient times. Civilized nations have shared this belief with savages. The use in all parts of the world of natural thermal baths, hot-air baths, vapor baths and wet packs testifies to a universal faith in the skin as an organ of elimination. The standard text-books on the practice of medicine, under the heading of the treatment of nephritis or uremia, recommend baths or other means of securing free perspiration. They usually imply, if they do not specifically state, that the work of the kidneys may be lightened through the excretion of solids by the sweatglands. Some, like Von Noorden, doubt that the sweat-glands excrete a sufficient amount of solids to be of value, although agreeing that the removal of water may be beneficial.Analyses of perspiration from healthy persons show that
WILLIAMS HU. A HISTOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE SWEAT-GLANDS IN CASES OF CHRONIC NEPHRITIS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1910;VI(6):702–708. doi:10.1001/archinte.1910.00050340088009
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