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New Medical Disorder Linked To Gaming

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the a-bad-case-of-tetris-eye dept.

Medicine 224

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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224 comments

Button mashers (5, Funny)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001237)

They get what they deserve...

Re:Button mashers (4, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001491)

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"

Re:Button mashers (1)

cusco (717999) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001837)

Back around 1979 my roommate came home with a bad case of "Space Invader Finger", after playing that game for five and a half hours. The finger joints were swollen and sore for days.

Re:Button mashers (3, Funny)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Gamers suck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001239)

Gamers suck.

Cello scrotum (3, Funny)

igny (716218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001249)

Anyone?

Re:Cello scrotum (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001621)

I think you just sent one over the head of 99.9% of Slashdot readers.

That's why I say
Hey man nice shot.
What a good shot man.
Thats why I say
Hey man nice shot.
What a good shot man.

Re:Cello scrotum (2, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001631)

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

If you do it near me, that is.

Re:Cello scrotum (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001843)

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.

Re:Cello scrotum (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001961)

"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:Cello scrotum (2, Informative)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002011)

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.

Back from the Atari days.. (4, Funny)

cide (7039) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001257)

We called it a Joystick Ow-wee

Re:Back from the Atari days.. (2, Interesting)

Fishead (658061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001385)

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:Back from the Atari days.. (2, Interesting)

kliklik (322798) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001915)

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.

what? (5, Funny)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? (4, Informative)

omris (1211900) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:what? (2, Informative)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001971)

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.

Re:what? (1)

omris (1211900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002053)

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? (1)

ljaszcza (741803) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002215)

I think they just wanted to get their names in the press. Looks like callouses and a blister to me. I used to get stuff like that on the sides of my fingers after too many hours at the arcade. Well, here's their 15 minutes of fame.

The controller did this? (0, Redundant)

clam666 (1178429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001293)

If I know gamers, I'm SUUUURE it was the "controller" that did it and not the real activity that gave them sores on their hands from repeated motions with sweaty palms.

When these gamers aren't being pwned, they retire to several hours of "feel good" activities in mom's basement.

Re:The controller did this? (4, Funny)

gomek-ramek (1340625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001341)

Dude, this was a 12 year old *girl*.

Re:The controller did this? (5, Funny)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001527)

Dude, this was a 12 year old *girl*.

Everyone knows girls can't masturbate.

Re:The controller did this? (1)

decoy256 (1335427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002343)

But they don't tend to use the PALMS of the hand for that activity... that is more typical of the masculine gender.

Re:The controller did this? (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001595)

they retire to several hours

Exagerating a bit aren't we? More like "several minutes".

Re:The controller did this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001957)

they retire to several hours

Exagerating a bit aren't we? More like "several minutes".

As another poster pointed out:

Dude, this was a 12 year old *girl*.

more 'baitin (-1, Redundant)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001319)

See, with some more masturbation, the harry palms will provide a cushion to prevent this.

you don't say (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001321)

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.

Psssht (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001339)

A lot of gamers get those... we don't go running to a doctor because of it, though.

Fingerless gloves with palm grips fix that problem. If you don't want the sores, deal with looking like an 80's reject.

Paging Dr House (1)

purplepolecat (1108483) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001439)

"Doctors who examined her at the Geneva University Hospital concluded she had a condition known as 'idiopathic eccrine hidradenitis'"
"Idiopathic", meaning "you're an idiot for still letting your daughter play video games after she develops sores on her sweaty little hands."

Re:Paging Dr House (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001507)

"Idiopathic", meaning "you're an idiot for still letting your daughter play video games after she develops sores on her sweaty little hands."

Actually, "idopathic" means "the doctor doesn't know what caused it (but it wasn't the usual suspects)".

I.e. it's the medical establishment being ignorant and nothing to do with idiocy.

Re:Paging Dr House (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001591)

"Idiopathic" in medical terms, is a descriptive term pertaining to unknown causes or conditions. Basically a smart sounding way of saying, "I don't know wtf that is."

Not the first (4, Funny)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001451)

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

Is this a joke? I can't tell... (4, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

Re:Is this a joke? I can't tell... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001619)

People get sores on their hands from rubbing stuff!

Wait... I thought that rubbing your "stuff" made hair grown on your palms.

Re:Is this a joke? I can't tell... (5, Funny)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001633)

People get sores on their hands from rubbing stuff!

Also known here at Slashdot as, Friday night.

Re:Is this a joke? I can't tell... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001767)

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.

Re:Is this a joke? I can't tell... (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001775)

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.

In 10 years. (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001863)

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 !

Mario-Party Palm (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001473)

On one of the Mario Party games for the N64 there was a mini-game where you had to wind up a clockwork toy using the analogue stick so it would fly across the room and presumably unlock some secret. I couldn't do it fast enough with my thumb so I started using my palm in attempts, and after a few tries a layer of the skin on my hand came off.

Re:Mario-Party Palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001695)

For sure, I remember when the first mario party came out, about half of the people in my 6th grade class had identical blister holes in the middle of their palms.

Controllers with fans. (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001531)

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.

get gloves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001541)

and continue playing

This sounds like the consoles need a redesign. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001553)

A bit of ergonomic work on the consoles is indicated.

Re:This sounds like the consoles need a redesign. (2, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001725)

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.

Nintendo Brick Controller (1)

0ddity (169788) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001629)

I find the playstation controllers are pretty easy on the hands. Kids these days don't know how good they have it. That old Nintendo Brick Controller was the worst. We all called it Nintendo thumb back in the day

Re:Nintendo Brick Controller (1)

CensorshipDonkey (1108755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001783)

Yes, those D-pads were particularly brutal on the thumb, the repeated friction of sliding your thumb across the rough surface.

Re:Nintendo Brick Controller (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001823)

the seam that bisects the 360 controller can be irritating.

Re:Nintendo Brick Controller (3, Informative)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002237)

Loosen the screws a little, put some putty in the seam, tighten it down again, shave off the excess, and let it cure.

Otherwise, just wait for it to accumulate enough dead skin cells and body soil to fill it in.

Re:Nintendo Brick Controller (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001923)

I've had minor arthritis since I was a little kid. Agreed, the NES controls were brutal, but I found gripping the 90 degree corners to be the part that got me, my index fingers would "seize" up from holding the controls to long. I got Nintendo thumb to, but it wasn't as bad.

Of course the fix to this was I used the NES advantage on ALL games (except for Duck Hunt smart ass). The last truly all games usable joystick. I have bought joysticks for other systems, but they only fit certain games properly (like Street Fighter) and aren't all that useful for platformers.

Re:Nintendo Brick Controller (1)

nickruiz (1185947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002139)

I used to get blisters and calluses from playing any Mega Man game in the franchise from 3 onward. Especially for Nintendo, the corners of the controllers would jab into the palms of my hands and the thumb soreness of having to hold down the button to charge your gun while jumping with the same finger.

Re:Nintendo Brick Controller (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002275)

Ah, yes, I remember getting my NES Advantage. That made life so much easier and less painful. Man, I love that controller. I've still got it, actually, and last I used it a few years back it and the NES were still working great.

Re:Nintendo Brick Controller (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001937)

Are you kidding? The NES controller was HEAVEN compared to atrocities like the Atari 5200 [atariage.com] , Intellivision, or Colecovision controllers. It was even a big step up from the classic Atari 2600 joystick.

I still play all these systems fairly regularly, and the NES controller is extremely well suited to the games it was designed for. A little curve on the corners would have been nice, but otherwise that pad kicks ass. Playing Megaman with a PSX controller just doesn't feel right.

Seriously? (1)

TheInsaneSicilian (134631) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001647)

Seriously? Is this what news has become? Alarmists are growing in numbers, it seems. TFA's title is even Game consoles 'cause skin sores' and has a PlayStation remote pictured. Now unless some chemical was used in the manufacturing of these remotes/consoles that causes this, that is such a misrepresentation... but hey, it got me to read it.

I have a theory of my own... And maybe I'll post an article and say that I discovered Clutchingson's Disease. She was just clutching onto the remote, squeezing, playing intensely, sweating, rubbing, probably getting scared (obligatory: because she's a girl) so half letting go of the remote due to being startled then grabbing again and causing herself extra rubbing/trauma.

The fact that she kept playing, in discomfort/pain, only shows that she has a bright future as a gamer and may even read this post a few years from now when she starts reading Slashdot and looks through some archives. Hi. How's your hands?

"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."

So, patient presents with sores on their palms. IANAD but I'm pretty sure the first thing they'd ask is "Whatcha been doing with your hands lately? Riding a bike?" and when the patient indicates they haven't been clutching onto handles the next question will be, "Well, have you been in contact with any chemicals, soaps, objects, anything out of the ordinary?" Now unless this is a male child, deformed (somehow), ya know "down there," and recently has become curious and is embarrassed to admit it, I'm pretty sure any other person, even a child, would be able to realize what they have been doing that has been out of the ordinary. I guess this is why they call it Idle... really shouldn't even be here, but, is. Worked out today, for me.

This has gotta be a joke about blisters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001655)

I can't really believe this. Especially the random pic which can't belong to a 12 yr old girl

Consoles suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001683)

Just another reason why consoles suck. I'll bet people who use a computer for gaming instead of a console don't have this problem.

Re:Consoles suck (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001987)

of course they do, i used to have a blister on my wrist from where it rubbed on the desk moving my mouse around, it soon went when i got a bigger mouse though. fortunatly with pc gaming there's a much wider choice of controls if one causes a problem.

Not exactly new... (1)

chmodman (565242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001707)

I am not a doctor, but I don't think this is a new condition. In the Northeast US, workers who shuck clams for a living have a similar ailment from handling a clam opener all day. Clams are opened (by hand anyway) using a short blade with a round stubby handle - very similar to the part of the Playstation controller that rests in your palm. People who do a lot of digging with shovels can also suffer from this condition as well.

Hardly new (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001733)

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.

medicalitis: doctors inventing new diseases (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001757)

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.

april? (1)

khold (164649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001769)

When I saw this article I had to check to see what day it was. I thought it somehow was April 1st already.

Great (1)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001841)

Now've they found a medical reason to bash videogames. They'll call it acute necrotizing videogamitis and claim it's a terminal desease. That way people will finally forbid the use of videogames. Damn alarmists.

Re:Great (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002125)

... and claim it's a terminal desease.

Bloody KDE users, blaming everything on Terminal. This article explicitly states that its caused by a gaming Konsole. Don't blame Gnome by calling it a Terminal disease ;-)

WOW!! Kids today don't know what a Blister is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001851)

I KNOW that kids today have it too easy. They never work a day in their life and when they get a blister they don't know what to do.

How f'ng sad.

I am an early sufferer! (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001865)

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 posted sounds incredibly gay. In the interest of leaving the story in tact I'm leaving it, because it's NOT gay, and if it were what you're reading into it I assure you it would be the joystick that developed the blisters, not my palms.

Re:I am an early sufferer! (2, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002143)

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.

This is news how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001885)

I remember be and my brother joking about gamers thumb since the days of the NES, (probably as far back as the atari 2600, but it gets hazy that far back)

Most of us just have the common sense to put down the controller for an hour or two when we get sore hands.

Factory Air included with the Wii (1)

Tarmus (1410207) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001889)

Due to the motion and movements, you'd be less likely to develop a skin condition playing the Wii. Nintendo wins again?

More to it? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27001919)

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.

Similar to something us guitarists get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27001981)

Hendrix palmar hidradenitis

Old malady (1)

xbytor (215790) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002033)

I remember seeing this problem long before video games.

Blindness and hairy palms were secondary symptoms.

Hadouken Hands and Friction Burns (1)

w00ten (1030874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002157)

My friends and I play Street Fighter so we call it 'Hadouken Hands'. If you want to prevent it all you have to do is just put your shirt over your hand. allows for you to slide across buttons easily and minimizes the blisters. Also, if this was truly a legitimate condition don't you think we would have seen this starting about 20 years ago? Of course we didn't... because they are just blisters... and in the last 20+ years only this little brats over-protective parents were stupid enough to take their kid to the doctor over some blisters(minor ones at that). I think porn stars get bigger blisters on their wangs from friction burns...

We call these things "calouses" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27002171)

You can get them whilst lifting weights or playing sports too.

Why are people so surprised at stuff like this?

It is not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27002185)

Some games may give you hairy palms and blindness too.
The good news is that the effects are also temporary.

In the Atari 2600 days (4, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#27002249)

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.

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