Toasted Skin Syndrome Can Be Caused by Laptops

Called "Toasted Skin Syndrome," the heat generated from prolonged usage of a laptop can cause skin discoloration and, in rare cases, skin cancer.

We’re all guilty of it at some point or another — perhaps from playing a game, chatting with a friend, or just surfing the Web. Time can get away from us when we have a laptop on, well, our lap, and it’s a habit that’s worth reconsidering in light of some recent reports.

Called “toasted skin syndrome,” the heat generated from prolonged usage of a laptop can cause skin discoloration and, in very rare cases, skin cancer. It’s no shock really, considering that the temperature beneath the laptop can reach 125 degrees.

An abstract posted today on the website for the journal Pediatrics describes a 12-year old boy who recently suffered from Toasted Skin Syndrome after playing video games for a few hours each day for several months. "He recognized that the laptop got hot on the left side; however, regardless of that, he did not change its position," Swiss researchers reported.

The Washington Post included a picture of the boy on their website, adding that a good rule of thumb is to not keep a laptop on your lap past the point of feeling “like your thighs are on fire.”

A very simple solution here for laptop users is to invest in a laptop cushion or cooler, both of which can be found at many electronics stores. And both laptop users and non-laptop users may want to look into buying stock for one or both of these items, because as the pictures from this condition continue to hit the mainstream media, you can rest assured that these products will be flying off the shelves in coming months.

Around the Web

Toasted skin syndrome: Laptops burning skin [Washington Post]

No laps for warm laptops; skin damage is possible [Yahoo! News]

Toasted Skin Syndrome: New Risk for Laptop Users? [CBS News Health Blog]

'Toasted skin syndrome' caused by extreme laptop heat say researchers [Engadget]