Researchers from Italy recently published a case study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, detailing the case of a 21-year-old woman who checked herself in a medical ward for sweating blood.
According to the study, she had been bleeding from her face and palms for three years without a known cause. The bleeding would occur while she was asleep and during times of physical activity, and it would last for one to five minutes.
The woman had no open cuts or wounds, and her condition often worsened during times of stress. Her episodes were so persistent that she became socially isolated due to embarrassment.
When the doctors tested and treated her for major depressive disorder and panic disorder, results came back normal and the bleeding persisted.
Doctors eventually diagnosed her with hematohidrosis, which is also known as “blood sweat.” It’s an uncommon disease where blood seeps through intact skin just like sweat.
Although scientists have proposed several causes of hematohidrosis, including systemic diseases like vicarious menses and coagulopathies, these hypotheses have “not yet been proven,” the study said.
To treat the patient, they prescribed her with propranolol, a beta-blocker used to to regulate blood pressure and heart rate.
While it didn’t stop the bleeding completely, it “led to marked reduction,” the authors wrote.