Copper sulphate burns to the hands, a complication of traditional medicine

Oren Lapid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


An 11-year-old girl of Bedouin origin presented with infected burns on the dorsum of both her hands. The burns had an unusual configuration in the form of spirals, and child abuse was suspected. The family reported that the burns had been caused by a treatment, for head aches, dispensed by a traditional healer, which involved applying a blue fluid on the hands. Chemical analysis of the implicated substance identified it as copper sulfate. The local and systemic effects of copper sulfate are reviewed as well as traditional healing methods that may lead to burn injuries. When clinicians encounter bizarre patterns of injury they must consider besides the possibility of abuse also, more unusual etiologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-547
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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