Your Laptop Could Fry Your Lap

But maybe 'toasted skin syndrome' will get you to stop
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2010 5:04 PM CDT
In this Tuesday, July 27, 2010 picture, Sara Hinkle and her husband, Travis Hinkle, use laptop computers to blog from their apartment in Bloomington, Ind.   (AP)

(Newser) – They call your portable computer a laptop, not a desktop, yet your lap might be the last place you want to put it. Turns out that people who do that often enough end up with a mottled, blotchy skin condition appetizingly called "toasted skin syndrome," reports the AP. It's basically a result of long-term heat exposure—one boy was diagnosed with the condition after playing computer games a few hours each day for a matter of months.

It's not just laptops, the AP notes: Heating pads or other sources of heat not severe enough to burn may be the culprit. And while the darkening isn't pretty, it's generally harmless—researchers find that only rarely does it lead to cancer. Computer manufacturers warn against putting your laptop on your lap, and experts say if you must, insert some sort of a heat shield.

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