Factitial panniculitis induced by cupping and acupuncture.

Department of Dermatology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Cutis; cutaneous medicine for the practitioner (Impact Factor: 0.82). 05/1995; 55(4):217-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Although Asian cultural practices, such as acupuncture and threading, are widely used, there is limited medical literature describing their cutaneous effects and complications. This review briefly describes therapeutic cultural practices (traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, coining, Ayurveda, and aromatherapy) and cosmetic cultural practices (hair oils, henna, bindis, saris, and threading), with particular attention to dermatoses secondary to these practices. Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda may cause heavy metal toxicity, severe cutaneous adverse reactions, and contact dermatitis. Cupping, moxibustion, and coining lead to dermatoses that may be mistaken for abuse by people unfamiliar with the practices. Hair oils may cause contact dermatitis and folliculitis. Paraphenylenediamine in black henna and bindi dyes and adhesives can cause severe allergic contact dermatitis. The drawstring in saris causes frictional irritation, which can lead to tinea corporis, koebnerization, and even squamous cell carcinoma. Threading may cause folliculitis, impetigo, and verrucae. The increasing prevalence of Asian cultural practices, which are performed inside and outside of Asia in this era of globalization, demands that dermatologists be familiar with the secondary dermatoses that may develop.
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    ABSTRACT: Acupuncture and cupping have a public reputation as being safe even though these practices can lead to complications such as trauma or infection. We report here on a case of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection secondary to acupuncture and cupping in a 56-year-old woman. The patient, who had a history of acupuncture and cupping on her left forearm for treating her myalgia, developed painful papules. Histologically, the biopsy specimen showed characteristic ballooning degeneration and inclusion bodies in the epidermis and mid-dermis. These clinical and histological findings were consistent with the diagnosis of HSV infection.
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    ABSTRACT: Cupping therapy is an alternative medical procedure that has been widely performed in Asian countries to relieve pain. It is known that there is no complication to this therapy, so many non-health care professionals have performed this procedure. However, there have been few reports on complications, such as iron deficiency anemia, hemorrhagic bullae, kelloids, vasovagal syncope, and foreign body reactions. Masses associated with panniculitis induced by cupping are extremely rare, and they require a unique approach.A 56-year-old woman presented with a 10-month history of multiple masses in the posterior neck and right shoulder areas. The patient repeatedly attempted cupping therapy by herself, and multiple palpable masses developed in the posterior neck and right shoulder area where cupping therapy had been performed. The masses were enlarged by repeated cupping, and they decreased in size when cupping was stopped. Among all lesions, the 2 masses with tenderness were surgically excised. The remaining masses resolved after cupping therapy was ceased. When a patient with subcutaneous mass has a history of cupping or trace of cupping marks, panniculitis induced by cupping should be suspected. The lesion seems to spontaneously resolve unless they are repeatedly stimulated. However, surgical resection is considered in patients with infections or severe tenderness as a complication.
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