A Vietnamese girl was admitted to hospital after she began sweating blood from her face while preparing for exams a few months ago. She was initially diagnosed with a skin infection, but doctors now claim she has a rare condition called hematidrosis.

The 11-year-old unnamed girl started showing symptoms three to four times a day a few months back and was given a course of antibiotics after being diagnosed with a skin infection. However, the symptoms did not go away and doctors had to reconsider.

Medics at the Quy Hoa National Leprosy Dermatology Hospital now believe she has hematidrosis, a condition that affects one in 10 million people.

“It is characterised by blood oozing from skin. The bleeding is due to the rupture of the very small blood vessels of the skin. The cause of hematidrosis is not well known, but factors include increased vascular pressure, inflammation of the vessels of the skin, bleeding disorders, menstruation and high blood pressure,” hospital director Vu Tuan Anh said, the Sun reported.

“Fear and intense emotional stress could also play a role in the cause of the disease, and symptoms may occur spontaneously or after emotional stress,” he continued.

The director added the treatment was difficult and mostly deals with reducing anxiety.

“Treatment is a challenge. We may use vitamin C, antidepressants and propranolol but results are undefined. Hematidrosis does not affect lifespan but can cause discomfort and fear. It can also cause stigma in social situations and so reduce quality of life,” Anh said.

Some people also claimed the disease could account for the Biblical "Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane," where Jesus was said to have sweated blood.

According to scripture, Jesus sweated blood after accepting he would be betrayed, having pleaded with God, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Mirror reported.

Dr. William Edwards in a paper on the “Physical Death of Jesus Christ” concluded, “Luke’s description supports the diagnosis of hematidrosis.”

According to WebMD, hematidrosis is a rare condition that causes the body to sweat blood and often occurs in people who are suffering extreme stress.

Though the exact cause of the disease is not known, it is thought the body's fight or flight response can trigger the condition. This leads to the body releasing chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol to prepare to run from the threat or fight it.

In some cases, the fight or flight response can rupture tiny blood vessels throughout the body, called capillaries. Some of these blood vessels are found near sweat glands, so when they burst, the blood exits the body through these tiny openings.

The condition can be a symptom of high blood pressure and bleeding disorders and has also happened to some women while they were on their periods.

Doctor
A Vietnamese girl, who was admitted to the hospital after she began sweating blood from her face, was diagnosed with a rare condition called hematidrosis. This is a representational image. Getty images