We now offer Telemedicine

Symptoms of Chromhidrosis

Chromhidrosis is a rare, chronic condition characterized by color in your sweat. While it isn’t life-threatening, chromhidrosis often causes emotional distress. 

If you’re dealing with discolored sweat, schedule a visit with a dermatologist to get answers, rule out more serious conditions, and learn about treatment options. 

Highly regarded dermatologist and dermatopathologist Yvonne Hines, MD, and the team at Hines Dermatology Associates diagnose and treat a full range of conditions affecting the skin, including rare conditions such as chromhidrosis. 

What is chromhidrosis?

Chromhidrosis causes the sweat glands to secrete colored sweat. While it can occur at any age, it’s most often noticeable after puberty. There are three types of chromhidrosis: apocrine, eccrine, and pseudochromhidrosis. 

Apocrine chromhidrosis

Your body has two types of sweat glands, apocrine and eccrine. In apocrine chromhidrosis, apocrine glands release colored sweat affecting mostly the face, ears, scalp, and trunk. 

Eccrine chromhidrosis

Eccrine chromhidrosis may occur anywhere on the body, as eccrine glands are widely distributed, except in areas such as the lips.


Pseudochromhidrosis occurs when sweat interacts with certain substances, resulting in colored sweat. 

Although the condition is long-term, some patients may experience a decrease in discolored sweat as they age. Chromhidrosis does not threaten your health. However, patients with the condition report stress and embarrassment, as well as anxiety and depression related to their symptoms. 

Signs and symptoms of chromhidrosis

Sweat is your body’s natural response to regulate temperature. To prevent overheating, the body promotes heat loss through evaporation. As you produce sweat, the body cools down. Normally, sweat is a clear, salty fluid, but for people with chromhidrosis, sweat may appear a vivid color such as:

The shade of sweat can vary from person to person. This may be startling or alarming to anyone who isn’t aware of the condition. 

Psychological symptoms

More than anything, patients with chromhidrosis report emotional distress in relation to their condition. Some symptoms include:

Emotional distress may cause physical symptoms, such as headaches and weight loss. 

Some people may experience a warm, tingly sensation before the appearance of colored sweat. Additionally, stress or physical activity may trigger colored sweat in people with chromhidrosis.

Causes of chromhidrosis

A pigment called lipofuscin is commonly associated with chromhidrosis. Lipofuscins are yellow-brown pigment granules made of fat-like residues. Certain activities such as hot showers and friction against the skin increase the likelihood of discolored sweat in people with chromhidrosis.

In some cases, ingesting of certain substances causes discoloration of sweat. Notable substances include:

In some cases, pigment-producing bacteria cause sweat discoloration. In other circumstances, health issues such as infection and liver problems may cause sweat to change color. It’s wise to see a doctor about colored sweat. 

Dr. Hines conducts a comprehensive evaluation and rules out more serious causes.

Treating chromhidrosis

Treatment of chromhidrosis may involve reducing sweat. Therapy with Botox® injections is effective at reducing sweat. In the case of chromhidrosis caused by chemicals, treatment tends to involve reducing contact with dyes and heavy metals. 

For patients with pseudochromhidrosis, antimicrobial medications may help balance bacteria to reduce colored sweat. If medication is the cause of your colored sweat, it should return to normal after the medication is discontinued.

Dr. Hines has extensive experience in both common and rare conditions. For evaluation of abnormal colored sweat or any other skin problem, contact our Attleboro, Massachusetts, office at 508-222-1976 or book online to schedule an appointment. 

Current and prospective patients can also send a message to Dr. Hines and the team here on our website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Here's What You Should Know About Melasma

While melasma isn’t dangerous, it can have a major impact on the appearance of your skin. Fortunately, melasma is treatable and may improve significantly with the right treatment approach.

Why Do I Keep Getting Cold Sores?

Cold sores are painful and uncomfortable, and they can have an impact on how you feel about yourself. If you experience recurrent breakouts, it’s time to discuss treatment options to manage your flares.

Do Warts Go Away on Their Own?

Warts are usually not life-threatening. However, some warts, depending on their location, can cause pain, and they may affect your appearance. Treatment to remove your wart is available when you’re ready.

What to Do About an Unusual Mole

A licensed dermatologist is your go-to medical professional for all things skin-related. If you see something, say something. An unusual-looking mole may be a sign of melanoma skin cancer, but when caught early, it’s easier to treat.

Summertime Tips for Managing Rosacea

Rosacea doesn’t have to put a damper on your summer. By taking a few steps to avoid your triggers and adjusting your lifestyle habits, you can enjoy the summer months and keep rosacea flares at bay.