Repulsively descriptive, Toasted Skin Syndrome is pretty much what it sounds like -- your skin gets too hot and turns a brownish, toast-like color. It's caused by a hot laptop computer, sitting where one would assume it should sit: On your lap.
Also referred to as laptop-induced dermatosis, or more technically, erythema ab igne, it can cause permanent skin discoloration and even lead to cancer, in rare cases.
While there have only been 10 cases reported to date, researchers say more cases are likely to come as the popularity of laptops continues to increase. Children are particularly susceptible because they have more sensitive skin.
The key to preventing toasted skin syndrome without losing your laptop is to put something between your skin and it.
Here are five things to try:
1. A pillow If you're sitting on your couch, it's easy to grab a spare cushion and rest your laptop on top of it.
2. Your laptop bag If you're on the go, the bag in which you carry your computer can be a great barrier.
3. A magazine The thicker the better, but any magazine can help. I've found InStyle to be particularly effective.
4. A sweatshirt or blanket They're not always thick enough, but even a thin layer from an item of clothing you can easily shed is better than direct contact between your lap and your laptop.
5. A laptop lap desk Specifically designed to hold a laptop on your lap, a laptop lap desk can provide both a barrier and the wrist support you need when you can't (or don't want to) sit at a real desk or table with your computer.
What kind of things do you put between your laptop and your lap? Have you ever had toasted skin syndrome?
Image via j/k_lolz/Flickr