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Hematohidrosis: Causes & Treatment

What is Hematohidrosis?

Hematohidrosis or Hematidrosis, which in common terms, is called as “Sweating Blood” is an extremely rare pathological condition in which an individual after doing any intense physical activity or a rigorous exercise routine starts sweating blood. An individual who is under extreme stress can also at times have Hematohidrosis. Studies have suggested variety causes of Hematohidrosis. These include various systemic illnesses, menstrual abnormalities, excessive physical activity, and psychological issues. In some cases there is no cause identified and such cases are referred to as idiopathic. Among all the factors mentioned with regard to the etiology of Hematohidrosis, intense fear is believed to be the most common cause.[1]

Some individuals tend to bleed easily. This may be due to medication or other underlying pathogenic conditions. They also tend to at times develop Hematohidrosis. It is interesting to study about how extreme levels of stress can cause an individual to sweat blood. Surrounding the sweat glands are numerous blood vessels which tend to become narrow when the body is put under severe stress.[1]

As this phase of extreme anxiety passes the blood vessels expand once again to the point that they may rupture and some amount of blood leaks into the sweat glands. As the sweat glands produce plenty of sweat some of the blood is pushed with the sweat to the surface of the skin causing Hematohidrosis. This article explains this process in detail along with other causes of Hematohidrosis and different ways to manage the condition.[1]

Hematohidrosis: Causes and Treatment

What Causes Hematohidrosis?

An individual bleeds whenever there is a rupture of the blood vessels. When this process occurs in the blood vessels that are near the surface of the skin such as in the sweat glands or the mucous membranes it causes blood to be mixed with sweat or the mucous causing bleeding. Since the blood vessels near the skin surface are extremely tender and can rupture easily, it is quite common to see bleeding occurring from the nose, temples, and other areas close to the surface of the skin.[2]

Individuals who are under extreme stress, whether it is work related or if it is financial, they are at risk for developing Hematohidrosis. However, this may not completely explain the phenomenon of Hematohidrosis. According to various studies, stress and anxiety have been on the rise since the start of the 21st century.[2]

This is because of the intense competition in workplace or at educational institutions. However, the incidences of Hematohidrosis have not risen comparatively. This indicates the presence of certain other factors that may have a role to play in the development of Hematohidrosis.[2]

Some studies suggest that people who are prone to Hematohidrosis tend to have a weak dermis or the inner layer of the skin. This results in the blood finding enough space for blood to pool in and eventually come out through the skin surface during sweating. There are, however, cases where there has been no risk factors like stress or bleeding disorders but still the individual has been found to have Hematohidrosis.[2]

The physicians treated the individual with a medication that blocks some of the functions of the involuntary nervous system. The treatment with this medication was successful and after a few weeks the “bleeding sweat” episodes completely resolved. What exactly caused Hematohidrosis in this situation is something that still remains unidentified. Some studies have pointed to a defective nervous system as a possible cause for Hematohidrosis but there is little data available to prove this hypothesis.[2]

How is Hematohidrosis Treated?

Before starting treatment for Hematohidrosis, the physician will first carry put certain laboratory investigation specifically to check for the levels of the red blood cells and white blood cells and see if they are normal. The platelet count will also be checked. Chemical analysis will also be carried out to check for any infections as a possible reason for Hematohidrosis.[2]

If the individual is under stress then coping with the situation through healthful means is the first priority. Once the stress is controlled or alleviated then the bleeding resolves spontaneously. Other than this, the treatments for Hematohidrosis is mostly on an experimental basis since very little data is available in terms of studies to identify an effective treatment option for Hematohidrosis.[2]

Some studies suggest the effectiveness of beta-blockers in treating Hematohidrosis by delaying the condition or even completely stopping the bleeding. There are hardly any associated symptoms with Hematohidrosis but in some cases people may experience anxiety and dehydration but such instances are very few. In such instances, treatment may be given through IV fluids and anxiolytics.[2]

Psychological counseling is mandatory for not only coping with stress but also treat the accompanying symptoms of anxiety or depression. In some cases, due to the rarity of the condition, physicians may request the patient to stay in the hospital for complete observation and find an effective treatment.[2]

In conclusion, Hematohidrosis can be a scary condition. Just the thought that bleeding may occur in the form of sweat can make any individual nervous and anxious. The matter of fact is that Hematohidrosis is an extremely benign condition and poses no threat to the overall health of the individual. The bleeding that occurs comes from the blood vessels which are close to the surface of the skin and are in no way connected to the deeper veins or arteries which supply blood to the vital organs of the body. Thus it is impossible for an individual to lose his life due to Hematohidrosis.[2]

Some people may experience anxiety or dizziness as a result of Hematohidrosis. Since there is element of sweat involved in Hematohidrosis, the bleeding may appear much more than realty. The condition in majority of the cases resolves spontaneously; however, studies are ongoing to identify an effective treatment plan for people with Hematohidrosis. Research is also ongoing to the various causative factors other than the ones mentioned in the article which play a role in the development of Hematohidrosis.[2]


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 3, 2022

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