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October 2021

Br J Dermatol. 1997 Apr; 136(4): 628-30.

Painful piezogenic pedal papules: response to local electro-acupuncture.

Woodrow SL, Brereton-Smith G, Handfield-Jones S.

Dermatology Department, West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, U.K.

We report the case of a woman who had pain in both heels which was exacerbated by long periods of exercise. On examination, there were small flesh-coloured papules which appeared over the medial and lateral aspects of the heels only on weight bearing. Coincidentally, she was noted to have larger flesh-coloured papules over the anterior surface of the shins. The diagnoses of painful piezogenic pedal papules and bilateral tibialis anterior muscle herniation, respectively, were made. After many attempts to control the pain, a course of electro-acupuncture was commenced. A good subjective clinical response was achieved which has been maintained by fortnightly treatments. We discuss the prevalence, pathogenesis and treatment of painful piezogenic pedal papules. We believe that our patient is the first to have 'herniations' at both heel and shin sites and the first to have successful sustained pain relief for painful piezogenic pedal papules.


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