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Video games and skin ailments


An extensive literature review looks at the dermatoses that are connected to video game play.

An extensive literature review relating to the clinical features, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of cases of dermatoses resulting from playing video games revealed many reports of video game-related dermatologic conditions.

Primarily localized to the extremities, especially the palms and fingers, these conditions generally are associated with repetitive friction and trauma, along with allergic contact sensitivities. Video game consoles, personal computers, laptop computers, mobile phones, and tablets all were implicated in the reported cases.

For example, conditions associated with PlayStation, a video game console, include palmar hidradenitis (papules and/or nodules on the palms), “PlayStation thumb,” (a repetitive strain injury manifesting as painful blisters on the tips of the thumbs) and “PlayStation lip” (ulceration and bleeding of the lower lip associated with intense biting, chewing, and sucking on the lower lip during games).

Early recognition and removal of the associated device usually resolves symptoms (Kyriakou G, et al. Int J Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2020; Epub ahead of print).

Thoughts from Dr. Farber

This is a fun article, worth reading for the discussion and pictures. The conditions described are minor, but you can impress and reassure parents (as well as encouraging cutting back on video use, perhaps) if you make one of these diagnoses correctly right in the office.

This story originally appeared on Contemporary Pediatrics.

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