Trying to get little Johnny to tear himself away from his video game console? You might scare him into gaming abstinence with a bizarre case study that has sparked headlines like "Too much PlayStation can cause painful lumps."
That eye-catching line is from a Reuters story about an unidentified 12-year-old girl in Geneva, Switzerland, who developed what her doctors dubbed "PlayStation palmar hidradentitis" after spending heaps of time attached to the game console. The young gamer's doctors at Geneva University Hospital concluded that the lumps, which appeared on her palms, resulted from her gripping and pushing the PlayStation buttons with her sweaty hands. They prescribed a PlayStation break, and the welts disappeared in 10 days, according to a report on her case published in the March British Journal of Dermatology.
The girl's condition was a variation of "idiopathic eccrine hidradenitis," a skin condition that causes red, sore lumps on the palms or soles of the feet. The disorder, which usually occurs in children and young adults, is not well understood, but it's believed to be caused by a combo of heavy sweating, trauma and physical activity.
"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," David Wilson, a spokesperson for PlayStation maker Sony Computer Entertainment, told Reuters. "We would not wish to belittle this research and we will study the findings with interest, but this is the first time we have ever heard of a complaint of this nature."
PlayStation palmar hidradentitis isn’t the first video game-related injury. CNET noted skeptically last year that some adults had suffered "Wii knee" after overzealously competing against their spry children in the virtual games. And some users of the Mirror's Edge game have become nauseous playing it.
Guess this means gamers are taking their lumps.
Image © iStockphoto/Diego Cervo