A rare phenomenon…
Doctors and scientists have been left scratching their heads after an Italian woman presented symptoms of sweating blood from her face and palms, even though she had no lesions or scars on her skin.
The 21-year-old told her doctors that she would periodically sweat blood and that the episodes would usually last between one and five minutes. She also noted that the intensity seemed to increase with heightened emotional stress.
Doctors said the distressing condition had taken its toll on the patient’s mental health. Doctors Roberto Maglie and Marzia Caproni wrote: ‘Our patient had become socially isolated owing to embarrassment over the bleeding and she reported symptoms consistent with major depressive disorder and panic disorder.’
She was prescribed anti-anxiety medication that seemed to ease symptoms, but it did not alleviate them. At first, medical professionals suspected the woman might be fabricating the condition. However, after reading through historical medical records, they determined the rare affliction has been documented through time.
She was diagnosed with hematohidrosis, a rarely reported condition in which patients spontaneously sweat blood through unbroken skin. Most patients previously diagnosed have been women and children; the doctors believe the symptoms emerge as a response to trauma and mental health difficulties.