A 21-year-old woman was admitted to hospital with an extremely rare condition that causes her to sweat blood from her face and the palms of her hands.
Italian doctors were left puzzled after the unnamed patient appeared with the bizarre symptoms despite not showing any sign of skin lesions.
Medics said there was no obvious trigger for the spontaneous bleeding, which could happen while she slept or carried out physical activity.
Her bleeding was most intense when she felt stressed, it was reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
Doctors in Florence report that the patient had suffered the unusual symptoms for the past three years and episodes last between one and five minutes
The woman has reportedly become depressed and socially isolated because of the condition.
Doctors ruled out that she wasn’t faking it and tests revealed her blood count and blood-clotting functions were normal.
They eventually diagnosed her with hematohidrosis, which is thought to affect just one in 10 million people.
She was treated her with propranolol – a beta-blocker medication which substantially reduced her symptoms but has not completely stopped them.