Toasted Skin Syndrome: When Laptops Singe

The latest health scare in the tech world? Your laptop. “Toasted skin syndrome’’ generally disappeared around the time people stopped spending hours huddled close to a potbelly stove. But the syndrome is now cropping up again, in young people who spend hours a day with laptop computers on their legs, says the Associated Press. Toasted skin syndrome is a rare skin condition characterized by “sponge-patterned skin discoloration,” and it’s caused by long-term exposure to heat. Cases are now popping up in the medical literature, including a Virginia law student who toasted her leg while having her laptop propped on her lap six hours a day. The temperature underneath registered 125 degrees. Another case involved a young man who played computer games for hours a day; his left thigh, where he balanced the laptop, turned brown and mottled, while the right did not. The discoloration may be permanent, and researchers say laptop users who won’t give up the habit should at least place a carrying case or other heat shield under their devices. Uh, duh. - As seen in The Week

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