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New Medical Disorder Linked To Gaming 224

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-bad-case-of-tetris-eye dept.
oldspewey writes "A new skin disorder caused by use of games consoles has been identified by skin specialists. The condition, dubbed "PlayStation palmar hidradenitis", is described in the British Journal of Dermatology. 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. 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. Nina Goad, of the British Association of Dermatologists said: 'This is an interesting discovery and one that the researchers are keen to share ... 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.'" We called it Tekken thumb.

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New Medical Disorder Linked To Gaming

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  • by internerdj (1319281) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:29PM (#27001237)
    They get what they deserve...
    • by tritonman (998572) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:35PM (#27001329)
      Not to be confused with "MasturBation palmar hidradenitis"
    • Re:Button mashers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by furby076 (1461805) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:44PM (#27001491) Homepage
      Wow...like really, DUH! Anytime you repetatively perform an action, especially when it can be strenuous and cause things like sweat, you will get sores/callouses/etc.

      The fact they "just discovered" it is more along the lines "I am a worthless doctor and want to get my name into the medical books. Now i can spin-off a book 'why gaming consoles are dangerous to your health'"....In other news "12 year old girl bashes doctor in the face with her Ps3 console"
      • by MadnessASAP (1052274) <madnessasap@gmail.com> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @03:21PM (#27002029)

        Have you seen a PS3 console? there's no way in Hell a 12 year old girl could pick that thing up. But it is a lethal weapon in the hands of those who can wield it.

      • by fugue (4373)

        Wow...like really, DUH! Anytime you repetatively perform an action, especially when it can be strenuous and cause things like sweat, you will get sores/callouses/etc.

        I dunno. Regular exercise certainly qualifies, and isn't really such a bad thing--your body destroys itself pretty quickly if you don't get any. Of course, sporadic exercise causes sores, blisters, etc. It's entertaining that some forms of exercise are healthy whereas others (button mashing, typing, etc) are less so.

        I'd guess that wool glove liners would help with this particular disease. Just as jogging without shoes is dangerous...?

        • I play mine with my feet half of the time, so far no problems except my scores suck.

        • by kdemetter (965669)

          I dunno. Regular exercise certainly qualifies, and isn't really such a bad thing--your body destroys itself pretty quickly if you don't get any. Of course, sporadic exercise causes sores, blisters, etc. It's entertaining that some forms of exercise are healthy whereas others (button mashing, typing, etc) are less so.

          Actually , it depends on how much you warm up : if you excercise without warming up , you are bound to get problems. I guess the same counts for gaming

      • I bet my old GP is quite miffed about this, since he "discovered" this about 15 years ago when I developed a rash back in the heydey of the SNES. The fact that these ad-hoc "case studies" are still viewed as a serious part of medical research baffles me no end.
  • by igny (716218) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:30PM (#27001249) Homepage Journal
    Anyone?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Farmer Tim (530755)

      Cello scrotum is nothing, playing the accordion can be fatal.

      If you do it near me, that is.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Bwuh?

      I play cello (15 yrs). I've never gotten cello scrotum. Do people really play their cello against their scrotum? Most people call that a "guitar". However, if you are unsecure about your manliness, your penis could recede into your scrotum as a result of playing especially emotional music or repeated watching of sixteen candles, etc. I think they call it emasculitis.

      • "Guitar Scrotum"? Well, it could explain why Pete Townshend did the things he did on stage. But, damned if I will be the one to ask him about it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Daimanta (1140543)

        That's because cello scrotum is made up. Never heard about it and the first time I did, I was told that somebody invented it as a prank.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by xonar (1069832)
      http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/28/uk.cello.scrotum.hoax/ [cnn.com]

      Cello scrotum was exposed as a hoax by none other than the creators of the hoax themselves.
  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:30PM (#27001251) Homepage

    Quick!

  • by cide (7039) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:31PM (#27001257)

    We called it a Joystick Ow-wee

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fishead (658061)

      I've got NES thumb. Both my thumbs pop when I bend them. I blame this stupid motorcycle game where you had to do Left-right, A-B really fast. I don't remember which game it is, but my thumbs remember skipping school to play it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by kliklik (322798)

        I remember constantly having a right arrow image imprinted on my thumb and now being able to play because of the blisters. This is indeed old condition.

    • No, it was called "Pac Man thumb"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by db32 (862117)
      Now it is called Wii 'wee...
    • Nintendonitis
    • by snowgirl (978879) *

      We called it a Joystick Ow-wee

      Totally, I got the same thing from playing Joust back in the day. You know, when you had to push the buttons uphill BOTH WAYS!

      I'm just amazed that someone who is not a doctor didn't put this together faster, and laugh rather than make a big deal out of it. But no! Over protective parents suck. Seriously, if my parents had brought me in to the doctor for every simple-to-diagnose problem in my life, I would have been a medical mystery, too.

      I say bring back lawn darts and let the stupid people weed themselv

  • what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:33PM (#27001285)
    Sounds like ordinary blisters to me. Let them heal up and come back again in a few days and your hands will be tougher and stronger.
    • Re:what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by omris (1211900) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:46PM (#27001519)

      Although the picture does indeed look like blisters, the condition that they diagnosed this kid with is more of an open sore. The previous type is usually documented on feet, and couldn't be caused by the same thing (sweaty feet + jogging). So they gave the hand one caused by console gaming a new name. It's sort of like you might have gotten a blister if you hadn't been so sweaty, but instead it turned into a crazy inflamed open sore.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nschubach (922175)

        My right hand always gets those blisters from sitting on a mouse most of the day. If I let them go (or pick at it... bad, I know) they open on their own exposing the nice fresh soft under skin. I just attributed it to a hazard of gaming at home and working in the computer industry during the day. I've taken up R/C Helicopters as a hobby to try to get away from gaming too much at home.

        • by omris (1211900)

          Yeah. I have a killer callus on the right edge of my right wrist, from where there is a rough spot on the edge of my desk that rubs my mouse hand. Crappy.

        • Re:what? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by oldspewey (1303305) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @04:08PM (#27002765)

          I've taken up R/C Helicopters as a hobby to try to get away from gaming too much

          Good thinking - replace a finger-intensive task involving lots of fine movements with a finger-intensive task involving lots of fine movements. Nerd logic at its finest!

          • by nschubach (922175)

            There's quite a bit less contact with the radio though (considering I use a lanyard to balance the radio)... and I get the added side benefit of sunlight and movement. ;)

        • by gknoy (899301)

          My right hand always gets those blisters from sitting on a mouse most of the day.

          Have you considered holding your mouse with just your fingertips, rather than resting the palm on the mouse? I don't game quite this way, but at work at least it seems very confortable. A wrist rest lets my wrist stay cushioned, and then I can move my wrist using both wrist and finger movements (rather than only hand/arm movements).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Although the picture does indeed look like blisters, the condition that they diagnosed this kid with is more of an open sore.

        The picture isn't related to the story - samzenpus just posted a photo of his own hand.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        Yeah, well, someone needs to explain to this girl that all those times her mom insisted that she wash her hands that there was a damn good reason.

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        Doesn't it seem a bit... silly? for them to be giving it a new name, though? It's the same observed phenomena, just at a different location.

        I remember this happening to me back in the NES days. It was, basically, a blister without the callous, or maybe a blister without the call a callous, with a bruise. I've had similar things happen to me since while working.

        Calling this a "medical disorder" is farcical. People in the medical establishment are so fucking excited to discover something that'll potentially g

        • by omris (1211900)

          Most of the defining characteristics of any disease state have to do with what causes it, not the symptoms that are present. The difference between having a cold and having the flu is what virus infected you, even though they can produce almost identical symptoms at times.

          That being said, yeah, its pretty gay to make it specifically PLAYSTATION caused.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by dietdew7 (1171613)
      That's why this happened to a 12 year old girl. By the time their 12, boys have already developed calluses in their palms.
  • 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.'

    I could think of another situation where this might be true.

  • ...they would have assumed it was something other than video games.

  • by Psmylie (169236) * on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:41PM (#27001451) Homepage

    There are a whole slew of gaming-related illnesses, going back decades, such as Space Invaders Wrist. And let's not forget the terrible losses suffered due to Pac-Man Fever

    • Dr. Mario!

    • It wasn't "Space Invaders Wrist", it was "Space Invaders Cooked Brain".
    • by Haoie (1277294)

      I thought Space Invaders caused "crippling arthritis".

      Groundskeeper Willie thought so, anyway.

    •   Robotron palm... those round plastic grips on the arcade version's joysticks could literally wear holes in your palms if you were marathon playing (I got good enough to play for more than four hours on a single quarter so I had personal experience with that :) )

      SB

  • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:42PM (#27001465)
    I mean... if I get sores on my hands from digging a hole with a shovel but no gloves, can I make up some new medical condition?

    Next Slashdot/medical journal article title:

    People get sores on their hands from rubbing stuff!
    • by D Ninja (825055) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:53PM (#27001633)

      People get sores on their hands from rubbing stuff!

      Also known here at Slashdot as, Friday night.

    • by Aladrin (926209)

      Sadly, it's not. But all the other 'news' blogs picked it up, so Slashdot had to, too, I guess.

      It's a complete farce. 1 person who can't put down a tool/toy even after they have sores is not a new 'disease'. It's just stupid.

    • by blueg3 (192743)

      This is a medical establishment thing that people don't seem to always get. Naming it doesn't magically make it serious. If you can identify the symptoms and the cause, you put a name to it.

    • A *girl* ?
      with a *tight hand grip* ?
      and a love for video games ?

      In 10 years, she's going to receive proposals by every single /. geek !

  • There are console controllers with airholes and fans built in now, to help prevent sweaty palms. So there's been a solution for years, she just failed to use it.
  • A bit of ergonomic work on the consoles is indicated.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by frosty_tsm (933163)
      While a good idea, you must consider where controller were 20 years ago with their simplistic shape. While there have been exceptions (such as the basketball-sized XBox controllers), we've generally seen improvement in ergonomics.

      The real issue is that the ergonomics of an off-the-shelf product can only be so good. And they can't make up for repeat and excessive use.
      • by seebs (15766)

        No change in design from the original "Dual Shock" (released as a PS1 accessory) and the "Dual Shock 3" used with the PS3.

        Other consoles have improved noticably...

  • by wiredog (43288) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @02:56PM (#27001665) Journal

    But did the blindness go away?

  • I used to get this back in the 70's on my VCS joysticks. Hardly warrants a name or even a second thought - it's just overuse/friction damage.
  • This hurts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by olddotter (638430) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @03:00PM (#27001743) Homepage
    Well stop doing that.
  • It seems like job of medical researchers is to invent new disease when it may not be necessary. We read about new diseases almost every week.
    • It seems like job of medical researchers is to invent new disease when it may not be necessary. We read about new diseases almost every week.

      It seems like job of lawyers is to invent new ways to sue when it may not be necessary. We read about pointless lawsuits almost every week.

      (There we go, hope that cleared things up for you. Remember the world is all about balance, regardless of how stupid Ying and Yang may be...)

  • Penny Arcade covered this back in 2005 [penny-arcade.com].

    This condition is commonly know as the soul callous.

  • by Greg_D (138979)

    They've discovered that blisters are caused by friction!

    What an amazing discovery!

  • Back when I was a kid one of my friends had a Decathlon/Olympics whatever game for the Atari 2600, I don't remember the exact title.

    The foot race portion consisted of moving the control stick left to right as fast as you could, the winner obviously is the one who was best at doing that. Of course the Atari 2600 joysticks were rubber coated, and they were rather stiff. Long story short, I got blisters on my palms from shaking the joystick to vigorously to often.

    Now that I reread that a lot of what I just p

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by snspdaarf (1314399)

      Long story short, I got blisters on my palms from shaking the joystick to vigorously to often.

      It may not be what you meant, but it still put soda all over my keyboard.

  • I wonder if she also abstained from typing on a keyboard and texting on a cell phone. Kids are doing more and more things with their hands and fingers since child labor laws were enacted. Well, I just made that up, but I'm sure gaming isn't solely to blame.

  • "doctor.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by glitch23 (557124) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @03:30PM (#27002205)
    it hurts when I do this." "Then don't do it." Idiots.
  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ratsalbnoiro}> on Thursday February 26, 2009 @03:33PM (#27002249) Homepage Journal

    I joined the Imagic "Numb Thumb" Club. The Atari 2600 only had one button but we pushed it with our thumb. Doctors called it "Numb Thumb" and Imagic turned it into a club.

  • Take a break! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bobtree (105901) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @03:42PM (#27002375)

    Seriously, if you ever get pain from gaming, you need a break. Don't play through it or tough it out or try stopgap solutions. The game isn't going anywhere, and your health is far more important than entertainment. Switching controllers to play something different often helps, but even then you can get posture fatigue or eye stress.

    I say this as someone who games a lot and has run into nearly as many different repetitive stress injuries as there are ways to control games. This week I've found Street Fighter 4 on the PS3 d-pad is pretty hard on my thumb, and even trying to press lightly and not mash it, you can still overdo it pretty easily. Despite what the manufacturers say, 4 hours seems to be about the longest I can play something continuously before running the risk of problems. I recommend having a water bottle to drink from frequently, as it will also encourage you to take regular bathroom breaks.

    If it hurts, just stop.

    • This week I've found Street Fighter 4 on the PS3 d-pad is pretty hard on my thumb, and even trying to press lightly and not mash it, you can still overdo it pretty easily.

      My thumb was quite painful after playing Street Fighter 4 for a few hours. But after a few days of pain, I once again developed the "Street Fighter Callous" that I had had as a kid. Now my thumb laughs at the PS3 controller's feeble attempts to cause it further injury.

  • by surferx0 (1206364) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @03:45PM (#27002423)

    Those sores and blisters look exactly like my hands from lifting weights without gloves.

    I can't believe they are calling this a "disorder" and relating it to gaming when it is just a simple and common case of friction blisters and callous that form under any similar circumstance.

  • by decoy256 (1335427) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @03:45PM (#27002429)
    "The girl, who had been using a games console regularly, recovered fully after 10 days of abstinence."

    "abstinence"? How does not having sex help out in this situation? And it took her 10 days to recover?!? Who's she dating?

  • I remember not having much feeling in my left thumb throughout my childhood. It was pretty much attributed to that horrible sharp edged X control pad that the original Nintendo had. Was some good times. Eventually you get a callus and its not so bad, you just have to play through it.

  • I remember when in 1986 when I used to get blisters on my hands from playing NES for too long. My family called it "Nintendo thumb." Nothing really noteworthy here, if you tightly grab a piece of plastic with sweaty hands for hours on end while rapidly shifting the pressure around...you get blisters. Not exactly a medical mystery.

  • Much like many computer keyboards, gaming controllers tend to be extremely unsanitary to handle... perhaps even more so because the user constantly rubs against the controller while gripping it tightly, resulting in a large amounts of skin flakes and sweat getting into these devices.

    It's possible that such sores aren't exclusively caused simply by gripping a game controller over an extended amount of time, but that the left over crud from previous uses is being forced into the skin, setting the stage for i

  • It may also help to wash your hands and clean the joy stick...
  • I've been gaming for 18 years and my hands aren't cramped, sore or any such thing.

    My forearms are a bit weak because all they do is hold a mouse, controller or a twinkie (or 3)

    I've had marathon gaming sessions, no sores on my hands.

    BLAME THE VIDEO GAMES :/

    Next.......

  • ever more the reason to use a PC for gaming instead.
  • I really-really wonder if that condition has anything to do with the controller being a wireless one. I heard someone telling how afraid they were seeing that kids have a wireless radio in between their legs (resting the controller on their laps while playing) and that how that could cause testicle cancer and other bad stuff.

    There are also some electro-sensitive (not sure if this is the correct word) people who get all kinds of irritations/headaches/rashes when submitted to EMF fields of certain kinds. Some

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