Monday, June 25, 2012

Toasted skin syndrome

Laptops lead to 'toasted skin syndrome'
Erythema ab igne, also known as laptop thigh, and toasted skin syndrome, is a skin condition caused by long-term exposure to heat (infrared radiation). Overexposure to heat causes a mild red rash that might be described as "blotchy". Prolonged and repeated exposure causes a marked redness and colouring of the skin. Some people may complain of mild itchiness and a burning sensation, but often, unless a change in pigmentation is seen, it can go unnoticed.

The source of heat must be removed. If the area is only mildly affected with slight redness, the condition may resolve itself in a few months. If the condition is severe and the skin pigmented and atrophic, resolution is unlikely. In this case, there is a possibility that squamous cell carcinomas may form. If there is a persistent sore that does not heal or a growing lump within the rash, a skin biopsy should be performed to rule out the possibility of skin cancer. Abnormally pigmented skin may persist for years. Treatment with topical tretinoin or laser may improve the appearance.

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