PlayStation Skin Disorder, the New Threat

by VR Sreeraman on  February 26, 2009 at 11:33 AM Research News
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A PlayStation skin disorder is emerging a new threat of the Information Age. Excessive use of consoles is seen as the culprit.

The condition, dubbed PlayStation palmar hidradenitis, is described in the British Journal of Dermatology.
PlayStation Skin Disorder, the New Threat
PlayStation Skin Disorder, the New Threat

Researchers outline the case of a 12-year-old girl who attended a Swiss hospital with intensely painful sores on the palms of her hands.

The girl, who had been using a games console regularly, recovered fully after 10 days of abstinence.

Doctors who examined her at the Geneva University Hospital concluded she had a condition known as 'idiopathic eccrine hidradenitis', a skin disorder that generally causes red, sore lumps on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

The condition has been previously found on the soles of the feet in children taking part in heavy physical activity, such as jogging.

It is thought to be linked to intense sweating.

For the disorder to only affect the hands is very unusual.

The patient had not participated in any sport or physical exercise recently, and could not recall any recent trauma involving her hands.

However, her parents did say that she had recently started to play a video game on a PlayStation console for several hours a day, and had continued to play even after developing the sores.

The doctors suspect that the problem was caused by tight and continuous grasping of the console's hand-grips, and repeated pushing of the buttons, alongside sweating caused by the tension of the game.

The researchers said cases of addiction to using games consoles had been recorded, but the symptoms had initially been thought to be psychological.

However, some physical symptoms, such as acute tendonitis, dubbed Wiitis, had begun to emerge.

They said 'PlayStation palmar hidradenitis' could now be added to the list.

Nina Goad, of the British Association of Dermatologists said: "This is an interesting discovery and one that the researchers are keen to share with other dermatologists, should they be confronted with similar, unexplained symptoms in a patient.

"If you're worried about soreness on your hands when playing a games console, it might be sensible to give your hands a break from time to time, and don't play excessively if your hands are prone to sweating."

A spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd, manufacturers of PlayStation, Noted that PlayStation was launched in 1995 and had sold hundreds of millions of consoles over the last 13 years, but so far no complaint of this nature had been heard.

He went on to add: "We firmly believe that video gaming is a legitimate entertainment pastime like watching movies, listening to music, or reading books.

"As with any leisure pursuit there are possible consequences of not following common sense, health advice and guidelines, as can be found within our instruction manuals."

Source: AFP

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