Cupping (Hijama) in Skin diseases with positive Koebner’s Phenomenon: What is New?

J Clin Exp Invest 2019;10(3):em00726.


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Background: Cupping therapy is an ancient traditional and complementary medicine used in the treatment of a broad range of medical conditions. It is very popular in many countries, especially in China, Korea, and Japan. It is used in the Muslim world, as well as in North Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Cupping involves applying a heated cup to generate a partial vacuum that mobilizes the blood flow and promotes effective healing. Till now, there is no certain scientific base for using cupping in treating any medical problem especially skin diseases. Many skin diseases have tendency to appear at the site of injury or damage to the skin, the so called koebners phenomena. Our observation is that hijama induces skin diseases at the site of cupping in patients with skin dis-eases with koebner phenomenon. Objective: to present cases with koebner phenomenon after cupping with primary lesions seen at the site of cupping. Patients and method: a total of 24 male patients previously diagnosed with skin diseases; 16 with psoriasis, 6 with lichen planus, one patient with dermatitis herpetiformis, and one with seborrheic dermatitis. Results: All patients had stable skin diseases prior to cupping but new lesions appeared at the site of cupping around two weeks after the procedure. Conclusion: cupping should not be encouraged for skin diseases with positive koebner phenomenon commonly psoriasis and lichen planus and possibly contraindicated as till now there is no scientific basis for using this procedure.


hijama, skin diseases, psoriasis, lichen planus, koebner phenomenon


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Sharquie KE, Al-Jaralla FA. Cupping (Hijama) in Skin diseases with positive Koebner’s Phenomenon: What is New?. J Clin Exp Invest. 2019;10(3):em00726.