Laptop Use Can Cause 'Toasted Skin Syndrome'
In an Oct. 4 article in the journal Pediatrics, Swiss researchers explain that Toasted Skin Syndrome (TSS) -- a skin condition caused by long term heat exposure -- has been observed recently on a 12-year-old as a result of playing computer games a few hours every day for several months.
Another case involved a Virginia law student who developed a mottled discoloration on her leg in 2007 after spending six hours a day working with her laptop on her lap.
Characterized by red and brown mottled spots and rashes, TSS has traditionally been found on people who work near extreme heat sources such as wood ovens, coal stoves, or open fires, or on people who abuse heated pads or blankets.
The researchers, Dr Andreas Arnold and Peter Itin from University Hospital Basel, explain that TSS is usually harmless, but can cause permanent skin discoloration, and in very rare instances it can lead to skin cancer. The doctors suggest placing a carrying case or heat shield between the lap and the computer.