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Ann Dermatol. 2011 Feb;23(1):67-9. doi: 10.5021/ad.2011.23.1.67. Epub 2011 Feb 28.

A herpes simplex virus infection secondary to acupuncture and cupping.

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Department of Dermatology, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea.


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.


Acupuncture; Cupping; Herpes simplex virus infection

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