Skin Damage Linked with Laptops
Prolonged exposure to infrared heat can cause the condition
By NHS : Choices – Your heath, Your Choice
Balancing your laptop on your knees could cause permanent discolouration of the skin and, in rare cases, cancer,” warned the Daily Mail. The story is of a 12-year-old boy who developed a skin condition caused by the heat from a laptop that was balanced on his bare legs.
The condition, erythema ab igne, is also known as “toasted skin syndrome”, and is characterised by mottled-looking skin resulting from prolonged exposure to heat or an infrared source. Since 2004, there have been at least 10 reported cases of the condition or of burns related to laptop use.
This is a rare condition, but the connection between it and laptops has been documented several times before. The incidence is likely to become more frequent as laptops become more widespread.
The skin damage itself is usually harmless and has no symptoms. As reported, there is a chance that the condition can develop into cancer, but this is a small risk. Simple common-sense precautions can remove this risk. The researchers suggest using a heat-protective barrier between the skin and the laptop (such as the laptop bag), or placing the machine on another surface. Read more →