Laptops could ‘toast’ your skin through heat damage

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  • Balancing your laptop on your knees could cause permanent skin damage according to new research.

    The heat generated by laptops could damage your skin if balanced on your thighs for long periods of time.

    The condition, dubbed toasted skin syndrome, was common in the days before central heating when people would huddle around roaring fires and electric heaters to stay warm.

    The most recent incident involves a twelve year old boy who developed a sponge-patterned skin discolouration on his left thigh after using his laptop to play computer games for a few hours every day.

    The medical-journal of Paediatrics confirms, ‘He recognised that the laptop got hot on the left side, however regardless of that, he did not change its position.’

    Another study involving an American law student who spent six hours a day working on her laptop explains a mottled discolouration on her leg.

    The temperature of the device resting upon her thighs was recorded to have reached 52c and her skin resembled the effects of long-term sun exposure.

    Major computer manufacturers such as Apple, Hewlett Packard and Dell warn users not to rest laptops on exposed skin for long periods of time because of possible heat damage.

    Swiss researchers, Andreas Arnold and Peter Itin of University Hospital Basel, warn that in rare cases, the heat generated from laptops may cause damage, which could lead to skin cancers.

    But, Dr. Bav Shergill, a consultant dermatologist and spokesman for the British Association of Dermatologists, maintained that the condition is usually harmless and urged people not to worry.

    He said, ‘It usually resolves itself without any permanent skin discolouration.’


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