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Noticed blue patch in inner ear. Caused by sweat. Noticed discoloration of sweat in private area. Normal?

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Dermatologist
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Hi,
I am a 30 year old male, about 176 cms tall weighing 93 kgs. I have a peculiar problem. I noticed a blue patch in my inners for sometime now and wasn't sure, what caused it. Later, I realized that it was caused by my sweat. I have noticed that the discoloration of the sweat only in my private area and no where else.
My question is,
1) is it normal for an individual to have blue color sweat? Have read that it is normal in some elderly people, not sure if it normal for a adult of 30 yrs.
2) Is this an indication of an deficiency?
3) Is this a result of some kind an infection (bacterial/fungal infection, etc) or an allergy?
Kindly explain about this symptom and also advise, if I should consult a dermatologist in person for further consultation.

Thanks
Posted Fri, 11 Oct 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
 
 
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please read a detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing to us.
From the description provided, it seems you are having chromhidrosis ( colored sweat). Normally our sweat glands secrete colorless sweat but can secrete colored( yellow, red, blue, black sweat. It is not commonly seen but is not considered to be a severe or serious problem.It is just due to overproduction of lipofuschin pigment in sweat glands.

1) Though the condition is not normally seen, but atleast 10 percent of people are seen to be affected by this.

2) it is not due to any deficiency
3) it is not a result of infection or allergy. But in affected area nay infection like fungal, bacterial or nay local pathology should be ruled out by clinical examination)

You may try following these steps to see if it controls your problem
shave your pubic hair regularly
Wear loose cotton underclothes preferably light colored( as sometimes sweat glands may absorb dyes from clothing)
Use an antifungal dusting powder like clocip or flucos or abzorb( these powders are antifungal and have an absorbing capacity)

Unfortunately not much treatment is available for chromhidrosis. Capsaicin creams and botox has been tried in people with variable results.
Please follow these suggestions and if the problem persists cosult a dermatologist nearby.
Hope this helped.
Take care


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Noticed blue patch in inner ear. Caused by sweat. Noticed discoloration of sweat in private area. Normal? 2 hours later
Thank you Dr. Kalpana for the detailed explanation.

A quick follow up question:
"3) it is not a result of infection or allergy. But in affected area nay infection like fungal, bacterial or nay local pathology should be ruled out by clinical examination)"

I do have a situation where my skin has serious discoloration in my private area, specially at the back. I was told by a dermatologist that it is indeed a fungal infection. The skin is very dark with acne kind of symptoms. Kindly advise, if it could be related to chromhidrosis or if chromhidrosis is a result of the fungal infection.

I shall touch base with my dermatologist to seek further course of treatment.
Thanks
 
 
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 15 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please read detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing back.
Chromhidrosis is a completely different entity and is not a result of any infection. Groin area is a common site for bacterial and fungal infection and presence of such infections mainly leads to malodorous sweat and sometimes sweat discoloration( usually yellow). In general any infection should be ruled out as it may compound to the problem. If in your case, sweat is blue in color, chances are it is unrelated to any infection.

Skin discoloration in private area again is normal finding. This mainly due to increased number of melanin producing cells in this area and due to friction, sweat occlusion etc. Sometimes it may be a sequelae of fungal infection or any other skin condition( known as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) too. If your doctor says that its fungal infection then it should be treated with antifungal medicines like oral fluconazole weekly and topical application of clotrimazole cream.
Theoretically speaking chromohidrosis is not related with any infection but in clinical set up I would definitely advise patient to shave pubic hair, wear loose light colored cotton underclothes, use antibacterial soap like triclosan or cetrimide soap for bathing and dust the area with antifungal powder. If no response is achieved, it is better to reassure the patient that colored sweat in few people can be a physiological phenomenon.

Hope this helped.
Take care

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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