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Traditional practices

Abdominal skin branding for acute pain

Acute pain relief by branding with a hot metal or other objects are still being practiced in many remote areas of hill districts.

A 45 yrs old lady came to OPD with c/o severe pain in right hypochondrium started around 11 pm the previous night with vomiting.

Traditional healer of the village offered branding of whole abdomen. It is believed that branding works on counter-irritation theory to relive pain.

This patient was investigated and found to have gall stone impacted at neck with acute cholecystitis.

Medical literature mentions that such  cultural and traditional beliefs are still practiced for conditions like ascites, headache, pneumonia, the common cold and hernia and many other medical problems.

These potentially harmful practices may expose to infections and viral transmission including hepatitis and HIV, tetanus, serious skin infections etc. and these may cause keloids, contractures, local deformities, scars medical and psychosocial consequences and should be discouraged.

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