What is uremic frost in end-stage renal disease (ESRD)?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Julia R Nunley, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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First described by Hirschsprung in 1865, uremic frost is rarely seen in the present day because of early dialytic intervention. When the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) level is adequately high (usually > 250-300 mg/dL), the concentration of urea in sweat is increased greatly. Evaporation results in the deposition of urea crystals on the skin. Uremic frost is commonly found in the beard or on other parts of the face, neck, and trunk as fine white-to-yellow crystals that dissolve readily when challenged by a drop of water.

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