Toasted Skin Syndrome

In Health & Lifestyles on October 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm

By:Logan O’Boyle

When people have their laptop resting on their upper legs for long periods of time, they are putting themselves in danger of Toasted Skin Syndrome. Photo courtesy of Google images

Laptops are one of the most popular electronics used today. People use them for studying, playing games and even to keep in touch with friends. Many times when on a laptop computer, people prefer to have it sitting on their lap. However, what a lot of people do not know is that using a laptop for long periods of time can be dangerous.

When people have the computer resting on their upper legs for long periods of time, they are putting themselves in danger of “Toasted Skin Syndrome.” This syndrome is caused by long exposures to heat coming from the computer. The heat comes from the laptops optical drive, or battery, and sometimes even the ventilation fan. Toasted Skin Syndrome leads to discoloration of the skin, giving it a brownish color.

Since the syndrome was discovered in 2004, there have been 6 reported laptop related cases. One of the most recent cases was a 12-year-old boy. He discovered discoloration appearing on his upper left leg after playing video games on the computer for many hours. According to Swiss researchers, the boy recognized the laptop was becoming hot, however he did not change the position of his computer for many hours.

While laptops are the most common way to get “Toasted Skin Syndrome,” the condition has also been reported by people who work with fire or coal stoves. However, the discoloration appears on their lower leg. It has also been discovered by patients who use heating pads or other items that would normally be harmless on a daily bases.

Toasted Skin Syndrome can lead to permanent discoloration of the skin, and in rare cases it can even lead to skin cancer. The condition is not very common as of right now, but doctors fear that with the laptop’s popularity growing, Toasted Skin Syndrome will grow along with it.  It can be prevented by using heat protections, such as having a barrier between the leg and the laptop or a laptop fan. The heat effect of laptops should be considered whenever children use laptops. Records show that their skin is more sensitive to hot temperatures than adults or teens. Toasted Skin Syndrome can be easily prevented as long as people are aware of the solution to the problem.


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