A man in China had to have 42 pearls removed that had been embedded in his skin as a result of a quack “cure”. He was worse for the treatment.
A man in Changsha, Hunan Province underwent emergency surgery to remove dozens of pearls he had embedded in his body for years as part of a folk remedy for his severe leg pain.
Doctors at Nianlun Orthopaedics Hospital (NOH) removed 42 pearls from the waist, hip and legs of the 61-year-old man surnamed Zou on Friday.
As a result of the unusual remedy, specialists found Zou had contracted bilateral femoral head necrosis, a condition where blood supply to the bone is interrupted.
A friend suggested a doctor for Mr. Zou for his lower back and leg pain troubles. He notes that one of his family members has undergone “pearl therapy” successfully. I was unable to find info on this particular method of embedding pearls into people’s skin. But pearls are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine historically among the wealthy. Normally, the pears are ground into powder or ingested whole. Ground pearls or oyster shells are added to face creams and pills with the promise of skin as smooth and beautiful as a pearl. I could not find any reference to embedding or what effect that supposedly would have. Pearls are a form of calcium carbonate so they will readily dissolve in acid. I could not find any evidence that they are especially beneficial to put on your skin or any more helpful to ingest than a regular, far cheaper anti-acid.
The article is not clear how the pearls caused the femoral bone blood supply to be interrupted but it MUST have been uncomfortable. The body does not react well to implanted foreign substances and attempts to neutralize or get rid of them. I can’t fathom how anyone could think this is a good idea. Of course, it is done as a body modification (NSFW).