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June 1964

The Wandering Sewing Needle: Report of a Case

Author Affiliations


Associate Clinical Professor (Dr. Popkin); Clinical Instructor (Dr. Brodie).

From the Department of Dermatology, New York University Schools of Medicine, and the Skin & Cancer Unit of University Hospital.

Arch Dermatol. 1964;89(6):821-822. doi:10.1001/archderm.1964.01590300049015

Dermatologists see foreign bodies infrequently in the course of their daily office or clinic practice. Occasionally, a housewife complains of having lodged steel wool fragments in the skin of her fingertips. Rarely does one find the steel wool. Leider has recorded the case of the barber driving human hair into a finger web space with sinus tract formation.1 Perhaps wooden splinters are the most common foreign bodies seen during the summer season when shoes and sneakers are shed with great frequency by youngsters and young adults. But the well-known wandering needle "syndrome" is not so commonly encountered in dermatologic practice.

Report of Case  A patient 71-years-old presented himself with the complaint of a persistent and tender, firm, crusted, red papule measuring approximately 7-8 mm on the dorsum of his right foot (Fig 1). No history of injury to the site could be obtained. Another physician's attempt to destroy the

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