Sony Responds To “PlayStation Palm” Diagnosis


Sony has responded to the new skin condition diagnosis of “PlayStation palmar hidradenitis” – PlayStation Palm – and it doesn’t sound like the company is ready to buy into it just yet.

It was reported earlier this week that doctors in the British Journal of Dermatology had coined the term “PlayStation palmar hidradenitis” for a skin condition caused by excessive gaming. The original diagnosis by Swiss doctors of a 12-year-old girl suffering from sore, red lumps on her palms was of “idiopathic eccrine hidradenitis,” a condition that normally appears on the soles of the feet; the “idiopathic” means doctors recognized the condition but were unsure of the cause.

It was eventually determined that her gaming habits were to blame and after ten days of no gaming the condition cleared up completely. Nina Goad of the British Association of Dermatologists suggested “it might be sensible” to take a break now and then, particularly if you’re finding swollen red lumps on your palms.

It’s too bad for Sony that the PlayStation has been tagged as the world’s first disease-carrying game console, but under the circumstances there was little the doctors could do. Xbox Eczema? Too esoteric. Wii Wrist? Visually alliterative but it just doesn’t flow. Nintendo Knuckle? Nice ring to it but aside from being related to the hand it doesn’t have anything to do with the actual condition.

I’m not sure what steps have to be taken to make the term “official” but I’d say that at this point, the damage is done and “PlayStation Palm” is a part of the lexicon whether Sony likes it or not. Nonetheless, the company has weighed in to make sure everyone knows that this isn’t actually its fault. “We firmly believe that video gaming is a legitimate entertainment pastime like watching movies, listening to music, or reading books,” a Sony rep told MCV.

“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,” the rep continued. “PlayStation was launched in 1995 and has sold hundreds of millions of consoles over the last 13 years. 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.”

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