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Skin condition blamed on gaming

Parents who are worried about the effects of video games on children's eyes are focusing on the wrong part of the body after experts identified a new skin disorder caused by over-enthusiastic handling of control pads.

The condition, which doctors in Switzerland named "PlayStation palmar hidradenitis", causes painful sore patches on the palms of the hands.

The symptoms were first exhibited by a 12-year-old girl whose injuries appeared over a period of four weeks.

A medical team at Geneva University Hospital initially diagnosed a condition that produces red, sore lumps on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet known as "idiopathic eccrine hidradenitis".

The word "idiopathic" means "of unknown cause" and the condition is usually seen on the feet of children taking part in vigorous physical activity, such as jogging, possibly due to intense sweating.

Doctors eventually realised the girl's symptoms were linked to her using a PlayStation gaming console for several hours a day.

The doctors suspected that tight and continuous grasping of the console's hand-grips together with repeated pushing of the buttons had caused the injuries to the girl's hands.

She eventually made a full recovery after stopping all console gaming for 10 days.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

British Journal of Dermatology