We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Notable Notes |

The Importance of Being Fragrant

Dylan Waterman, BS1; Scott A. Norton, MD, MPH2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC
2Childrens’ National Medical Center, Washington, DC
JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(12):1413. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.7556.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


While tiny Gulliver’s experience resting on the pungent chests of the ladies of Brobdingnag serves as a fairly extreme example, this passage from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver’s Travels illustrates one of the skin’s most complex characteristics: its odor.

Humans are the world’s least hirsute apes, yet have glands associated with each hair follicle that collectively contribute to each person’s unique aroma. While eccrine glands secrete a watery solution directly onto the skin to aid in evaporative cooling, sebaceous and apocrine glands empty their products into minuscule spaces surrounding each hair shaft.2 Sebaceous glands remain largely dormant until puberty, when sebum production increases dramatically.2 Odorless when first secreted, sebum is broken down into fatty acids by commensal bacteria to produce a strong, sweaty fragrance.2 These glands are found throughout the body, from toe-top to eyelid, and are most abundant on the facial skin and the scalp.

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles