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Using your laptop could cause 'toasted skin syndrome'

Tuesday, October 05, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: laptop, skin burns, health news

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(NaturalNews) Using your laptop computer on your lap for extended periods of time can cause serious, and potentially permanent, skin burns, say Swiss researchers. Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study explains that "toasted skin syndrome" occurs when skin is exposed to heat for long periods of time, and appears as a darkened, sometimes patterned, discoloration on the skin.

According to Drs. Andreas Arnold and Peter Itin from University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, authors of the study, the condition can cause permanent skin discoloration and may even lead to skin cancer, depending on the degree of damage.

In the old days, people who worked near high heat sources, such as bakers and blacksmiths, often got toasted skin syndrome. But today, many people get it simply from keeping high-powered, heat-generating laptop computers on their laps for hours at a time, day after day.

Experts suggest using cooling pads or other heat shields in between laptop computers and skin in order to prevent excessive heat exposure. However, it is important to avoid using a pillow or blanket as a barrier since these can increase temperatures even further, elevating risk of both fire and internal damage to the computer.

Laptops aren't the only devices that can cause toasted skin syndrome, either. According to reports, a boy was admitted to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago for thigh burns caused by using a heating pad to treat a soccer injury.

Men who use laptop computers are also at additional risk as the heat the machines generate can negatively effect sperm production. Laptop heat can quickly warm scrotal temperatures to levels that kill sperm and may lead to infertility. You can read more about sperm damage caused by laptop heat in this earlier NaturalNews piece:

Sources for this story include:

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