Toasted skin syndrome has come into limelight with increased use of laptop. If you are a computer addict and if you are constantly keeping it on your lap, the heat generated from its bottom results in mottling of skin. The discoloration and hyper-pigmentation thus developed appears similar to long term sun exposure. The infrared (thermal) radiation emitted from the heat is responsible for this skin condition. Along with hyper-pigmentation, some people may also complain of itching and burning.
It is not only the problem with laptop heat, people who sit closely or work near electric heaters, also suffer from the so called toasted skin syndrome.In recent times, the incidence of it has decreased due to central heating system. But still you may observe the same in people who use hot water bottles, heating pads etc. Skin pigmentation in this condition is permanent and in rare cases it may be a cause for skin cancer.
What Causes Toasted Skin Syndrome?
The exact reason for toasted skin syndrome remains unknown, but scientists postulate it to be due to hemostasis. The blood flow of the affected area slows down as the superficial vessels get damaged. According to researchers, heat between 109 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit can possibly cause skin burns.But heat at 111 degree (F) is found enough to toast the skin.
Heat generated from several sources can cause toasted skin syndrome:
As compared to men, the condition is found to be more common in women. Both young and elderly individuals are prone to toasted skin syndrome.
- People who keep laptop on their lap for long hours. The heat generated by spare parts of laptop batteries, ventilation fans and optical drives is responsible for mottled skin discoloration.
- A person using heating pads and blankets and hot water bottles to relieve chronic pain are prone to this skin problem. Especially, people suffering from chronic backache are predisposed to it.
- Sitting often on heated car seat.
- It is an occupational hazard among jewelers, bakers and chefs who are exposed to heat constantly.
- In certain parts of the world, people keep fire pots to warm their body. This may lead to skin mottling.
- Toasted skin syndrome is also found in people who suffer from certain chronic medical conditions such as chronic pancreatitis, hypothyroidism etc.
Symptoms Of Toasted Skin Syndrome
The classical symptoms of toasted skin syndrome are as follows:
Rash appears on the affected part of the skin. The skin appears pink, red or brown. After a prolonged exposure to heat for several days and months, the skin becomes darkened and discolored. The pattern of discoloration appears as if a net spread on the skin or a sponge like pattern.
In toasted skin syndrome, the skin becomes dark and the changes are permanent.
In majority of cases, there is no pain or associated itching. However, sometimes patients have described mild itching and burning sensation. It often remains unnoticed by the patient, unless there is associated dark pigmentation.
Due to their delicate skin, children and women are more vulnerable.
Toasted Skin Syndrome Remedies
Primarily it is necessary to discontinue the contact with heat source. If the affected area is mildly discolored there is a fair chance that the skin may regain its original color.
If the dark pigmentation is severe and prominently visible, it is less likely to resolve. The patient may require a dermatologist’s opinion.
Use a moisturizer to keep your skin moist. Dry skin irritates rather quickly.
To lighten the dark pigmentation, natural home remedy is found to be effective. Mix yogurt, turmeric powder and gram flour. Instead of yogurt, you can use milk. Mix it well and apply it on the affected region. Apply it regularly for few days.