Ping Pong Patches (traumatic accidents with table tennis balls)

Some sports related injuries are less common than others. For example, there is only one* formally documented case of ‘Ping Pong Patches’ (Scott MJ Jr, Scott MJ III, Cutis, 1989; 43 : 363 – 364.) in the medical literature. Sadly, the online database for Cutis only goes back as far as year 2000. But fortunately, the paper is cited in ‘Diagnosis of sports-related dermatoses’ (Andrei Metelitsa, Benjamin Barankin, MD, and Andrew N. Lin, MD, FRCPC, International Journal of Dermatology, 2004, 43, 113 –119).

“Ping-pong patches (Fig. 4) present as 12–15-mm circular lesions with erythematous or purpuric border and clear center. They are caused by high-velocity ping-pong balls striking the exposed or protected skin”

What can be done about them?

Treatment : “Warm compresses for 5 to 10 minutes two or three times per day may assuage the pain. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs may also be required, depending on the pain.”

Prevention : “Loose-fitting clothing may dampen the force of the ball, but welts may still develop beneath these clothes.”

See: Chapter 3, (sports-related traumatic conditions) of ‘Sports Dermatology’ (Ed. Brain B. Adams)

*Note: If you are aware of any other documented cases of ‘Ping pong Patches’ please let us know so that this article can be corrected.

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