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Green Sweat: Possible Explanations

An interesting and rare medical symptom was mentioned by Kevin, MD today. He links to an article about a Chinese man who began to perspire green sweat. Kevin asks for any ideas. I used my good friends, Google and Pubmed to find some possible explanations:


  • Chromhidrosis: a rare condition characterized by the secretion of colored sweat which is caused by the various oxidative states of lipofuscin pigment. The pigment is produced in the apocrine gland. Here is a case report about it. Or an other one in the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A 56-year-old man, hospitalized for recurrent fever, latent jaundice, and epigastric pain, progressively developed macules on his hands and feet… an increased level of bilirubin may cause a rare transient green discoloration when it is excreted through eccrine sweat glands.


  • Pseudomonas infection
  • Bleeding diathesis (red sweat)
  • Copper exposure (blue sweat)
  • Contamination from corynebacteria, paint, chemicals or clothing dye
11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Once I escaped a small plane crash- green sweat was the color of the day sure enough.
    Visit me at the first physician bluegrass fiction writer’s weblog.

    Dr. B

    December 14, 2007
  2. dang doop #

    good lord

    September 25, 2008
  3. dave #

    I can’t believe someone did not suggest bile, Liver damage etc.

    Are the stools gfreen too?

    September 19, 2009
    • Jared #

      I am 22 and have recently noticed that after working out and golfing my glove and socks are green i do smoke and drink often maybe they are related?

      May 2, 2010
  4. drew #

    i am sweating green and have flourescent dots all over my body. easier to see in the sun. thought something sprayed on me till i was wearing a white shirt working in 100 degree wheather. where i was sweating it was flourescent green. dont know what it could be. started a few days ago. does anyone have any info please let me know

    July 15, 2010
  5. whatever #

    i think it might be a high level of copper in the blood, i used to swim a lot until i suffered paresthesia on my left temple and my nails turned out (the lines of it) green while my nostril mucus too. Apparently this is caused by the copper ion generator and the chlorine. My advice: be aware of the environment, lots of things going on, and forget the stress speech that medics tend to use whenever they dont have a clue.

    July 22, 2010
  6. Our older son is far too impatient to sit in the Epsom salt baths. We finally gave up a switched to a supplement call methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). It is two methyl groups attached to a sulfoxide group and the body will convert it to sulfate if (a big if) the body’s transulfuration pathway is working correctly. It worked great for our son, no more red ears and a significant improvement in his chronic allergic shiners.

    September 10, 2010
  7. Elizabeth #

    My husband and I just moved back to the US from mainland China. I know of a girl, who was there at the same time, that starting sweating green. It was the rice she was eating! She stopped eating the rice and seems to be fine. The chemicals that end up on Chinese crops is alarming. It may be cheaper to buy Chinese foodstuffs, but you risk your health.

    August 16, 2011
  8. Leonard Tisdale #

    I have to wonder at all this. Until recently I would never have thought it possible. But my feet have the result, I believe, of green sweat. My wife used rubbing alchol and removed the sweat; however, I think it will be back and I am no further ahead as to a cause and what to do to avoid it. I live in the Philippines and wear sandals all the time.. It is only recently that the green has started. Don’t know if this is worth seeing a doctor over or not.

    January 12, 2012


    August 16, 2012
  10. I have had green sweat three times in my life. Very strange occurrence. Each time the sweat was proceeded by intense sickness , stomach ache, head ache, dizzy, feel like vomiting but don’t. Along with profuse sweat. When I dried off sweat with white face cloth I noticed a dark green color left on cloth. Showed others and we tried to figure it out. Never did.
    This same thing has happened two more times. 3 total. Most recent was about 3 years ago. I am 52 year old in good health. The first event I was 13yrs. The 2nd about 35. Most recent 49yrs.
    Don’t have a clue what it could be. Any ideas ??

    July 4, 2013

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