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05th Oct 2023

Chromhidrosis and pregnancy: The rare condition explained

Jody Coffey

Alexa, play ‘I’m blue, Da ba dee da ba di’

When you fall pregnant, you anticipate symptoms such as heartburn, fatigue, or nausea. What you don’t foresee is your sweat turning blue.

That’s right, blue. Chromhidrosis is defined by the National Institute of Health as a condition ‘with a characteristic presentation of the secretion of coloured sweat’.

One mum-to-be has brought brand new awareness to this condition after she took to TikTok to find out what it was, why it was happening, and if it would affect her baby.

Keisha Sethi, 24, while in her second trimester, was surprised to find her clothing stained with blue patches, something that also raised alarm bells for her partner.

Speaking to TODAY, the fitness coach explained how the blue sweat was first brought to her attention.

“My partner came over to me, and he was like, ‘Did you wear anything blue today?’ And I said, ‘No’. Then he brought me into our bathroom and pointed at the toilet seat, and it was bright blue.”

@fitnesswithkeisha Mama’s has anyone experienced this? Does it affect baby in any way? – I did call the maternity helpline but they said they’ve not heard of it & weren’t really helpful? ⁣ ⁣ I feel like a squid ? ⁣ ⁣ #weirdpregnancysymptoms #pregnancysymptoms #chromhidrosis #bluesweat #pregnancylife #pcospregnancy #fyp #foryou ♬ Who Told You (feat. Drake) – J Hus

Dismissing the blue toilet seat, she put it out of her mind until unexplained blue stains started appearing on her clothing, sheets, and various other places.

“Everything was the colour of denim. It made me feel quite anxious.”

This prompted Keisha to contact her OB/GYN, and she was diagnosed by a professional with chromhidrosis, a condition that causes a person to produce coloured sweat (the sweat may be yellow, green, blue, brown, or black), most commonly on the face, underarms, and breasts, according to Sweat Help.

The mum-to-be also consulted TikTok about the wild phenomenon.

“Mamas has anyone experienced this? Does it affect baby in any way?” she captioned the video.

Despite the blue colour, Sethi welcomed a healthy baby girl in September, and comments continue to pour in on her TikTok.

“Omg this happened to my white clothes and I was convinced it was dye from my jeans but it never made sense,” one person wrote.

“I had this happen to me during the height of hormonal imbalance, wasn’t even pregnant just sweating & turning surfaces/fabrics blue,” another added.

“Yup that happened when I was pregnant. I turned my toilet and sheets blue,” one wrote.

While it is not more common during pregnancy, it could become more prominent at this time due to increased sweating during pregnancy.

The outlet reports that Sethi’s symptoms cleared up on their own in a week, but chromhidrosis generally lasts as there is no cure, according to Dr. Abigail Waldman, a dermatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, who also told TODAY that it is important to be checked by a physician to rule out bacterial or fungal infections.

Dr. Waldman says that the condition is thought to be present in 10% of the population but is usually not clinically apparent.

She says that it is actually yellow, which is the most common colour in chromhidrosis and results in the yellow staining of the clothes.