Rash From Laptop
Recently Mark came down with a serious, itchy rash. Since Mark walks quite a bit everyday, he assumed it was from his thighs rubbing together. He figured that it would soon go away, but after he had suspended his walking , and a week had passed, the rash was worse than ever. At this point it appeared that the rash was not from his walking.
Two weeks later, and the rash was still as fresh as ever. He was perplexed trying to figure it out, and was, now, spending all of his free time at home, wearing as little as possible. The next step was to eliminate any possible culprit. So he stopped using his shampoo, soap, deodorant, and body spray. Still the rash persisted, and showed no sign of healing.
The rash started on his inner thigh, near his crotch, then moved down his thigh toward his knee. Days later, it expanded to is abdomen, and there seemed to be no reason that he should be suffering like this. He had gotten rid of all the possible allergens, even dumping his toothpaste, but the rash remained, and showed no sign of healing.
Mark became more and more secluded. At one point he opted to try Benadryl, thinking that he must be experiencing an allergic reaction to something in the environment. The Benadryl had no effect.
Marks friend Paris was really worried about him, because she was his walking partner. She went to visit him everyday after work. She felt sorry for him, lying there in his pajamas, with his laptop on his lap, scratching away. Suddenly she had an awareness. She didn't say anything to Mark, but when she got home she googled "laptop rash" and was surprised to see that she may have found the answer to the riddle that has plagued Mark for all these weeks.
The condition is called Erythema ab igne, and can be caused by the heat emanating from a laptop computer, particularly when the laptop is placed on exposed skin for hours at a time. It has now become known as Toasted Skin Syndrome. The infrared radiation causes a reticular pattern of hyper-pigmentation, because of swelling of the surrounding cells. Severe exposure to infrared radiation can cause Squamous Skin Cell Cancer, which was common in China, because many people slept next to heated bricks.
When Mark visited the Dermatologist, he was surprised to learn that his friend Paris was on to something. The doctor confirmed that it was, indeed, Toasted Skin Syndrome.
As for Mark's treatment the doctor recommended that he stop the direct exposure to the infrared radiation, and the rash should disappear in a few weeks. In other words, stop putting the laptop on his lap.
Mark is careful to make sure he no longer exposes himself to the infrared radiation emanating from his laptop, and after a week, he is noticing an improvement, finally. But it will still be weeks before he is completely rid of Toasted Skin Syndrome.
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- Erythema Ab Igne: eMedicine Dermatology
Overview: Erythema ab igne (EAI) is characterized as localized areas of reticulated erythema and hyperpigmentation due to chronic and repeated exposure to infrared radiation. Patients with erythema ab igne have a history of repeated exposures to heat