Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Toasted Skin Syndrome October 18, 2010

Isn’t it always the case that once you see an article about something in one place all of a sudden you see articles about it everywhere?  For me such is the case about toasted skin syndrome.  All of a sudden I am seeing articles about this medical condition everywhere.

So what exactly is toasted skin syndrome?  According to an article on Web MD this is a condition that is actually called erythema ab igne and affects those who rest a laptop computer on their thighs for a prolonged amount of time – usually 6 to 8 hours a day over a period of weeks or months.  The affected skin becomes discolored, sometimes permanently, and mottled looking.   Under a microscope the affected skin resembles skin that was severely sun damaged from long-term sun exposure.  Some researchers even warn that this syndrome can potentially lead to skin cancer because of the excessive amount of inflammation that the skin is exposed to.

This same condition can actually be observed in individuals who use a heating pad or blanket for prolonged periods of time or in people who pursue professions that expose them to high heat for long periods of time – such as bakers and glass blowers.

Preventing such a condition is actually relatively simple.  If you must rest your laptop on your thighs while using it simply place a heat shield or carrying case between the computer and your upper legs.  It has been suggested that laptop manufacturers put a label on their products warning of this danger, and some manufacturers have actually already done so.

 

Sources and Further Reading:

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