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Curr Probl Dermatol. 2016;51:30-41. doi: 10.1159/000446756. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Sweat as an Efficient Natural Moisturizer.


Although recent research on the pathogenesis of allergic skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis has focused on defects in skin genes important for maintaining skin barrier function, the fact that excreted sweat has an overwhelmingly great capacity to increase skin surface hydration and contains moisturizing factors has long been ignored: the increase in water loss induced by these gene defects could theoretically be compensated fully by a significant increase in sweating. In this review, the dogma postulating the detrimental role of sweat in these diseases has been challenged on the basis of recent findings on the physiological functions of sweat, newly recognized sweat gland-/duct-related skin diseases, and therapeutic approaches to the management of these diseases. We are now beginning to appreciate that sweat glands/ducts are a sophisticated regulatory system. Furthermore, depending on their anatomical location and the degree of the impairment, this system might have a different function: sweating responses in sweat glands/ducts located at the folds in hairy skin such as on the trunk and extremities could function as natural regulators that maintain skin hydration under quiescent basal conditions, in addition to the better-studied thermoregulatory functions, which can be mainly mediated by those at the ridges. The normal functioning of sweat could be disturbed in various inflammatory skin diseases. Thus, we should recognize sweating disturbance as an etiologic factor in the development of these diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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