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Human sudomotor responses to heating and cooling upper-body skin surfaces: cutaneous thermal sensitivity


Nigel A.S. Taylor Department of Biomedical Science, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia


The influence of local skin temperature (Tskl) on the control of local and whole-body sweating was evaluated in eight healthy males. A water-perfusion garment (37 °C) and a climatic chamber (36.45 ± 0.78 °C; [±SD]; relative humidity 60.3 ± 1.6%) were used to raise and clamp skin and core temperatures. Warm and cool stimuli were applied to four upper-body skin regions (face, arm, forearm, hand) using perfusion patches (249.0 ± 0.2 cm2). Heating elevated, while cooling suppressed sweat rate (sw) locally, and at other skin surfaces. However, the tendency for Tskl manipulations to induce localized sweat responses was no more powerful than it was at stimulating sweating in non-treated regions (> 0.05). Accordingly, neither thermal stimulus produced significantly greater local sudomotor influences than were elicited contralaterally (> 0.05). No statistical support was found for the notion of inter-regional differences in upper-body cutaneous thermal sensitivity for sudomotor control, and, regardless of the stimulation site, whole-body sudomotor responses to localized thermal treatments were equivalent (> 0.05).

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