Researchers: Burning Hot Notebooks Cause “Toasted Skin Syndrome”

We told you there were physical risks in putting your notebook on your lap and a case study from Switzerland just came out in the Novemeber 5 issue of Pediatrics to prove it. Researches documented several cases of “Toasted Skin Syndrome,” a brownish discoloration of the skin caused by prolonged exposure to heat from laptop computers resting on their upper legs.

The focus of the study fell on a 12-year-old boy who developed a sponge-patterned discoloration on his left thigh—the same left side where many notebook processors, graphics chips, and heat exhausts lie —after playing computer games with his laptop resting on his upper legs for a few hours a day for several months.

The heat needed to burn skin can range from 109.4 to 116.6 skin which are reasonably approachable for laptop going at full load that has less than optimal ventilation sitting on a person’s legs. Those temperatures aren’t atypical as we’ve seen notebook bottoms get as hot as 125 degrees after only 15 minutes of use.

According to researchers this “laptop induced dermatosis” was first described in 2004. In the current study, 10 reported patients had lesions on one or both of their upper legs that developed after several weeks of laptop use for six to eight hours per day. The results of the syndrome can be worse than permanently discolored skin as in rare cases it can also lead to skin cancer.

If your notebook has a tendency to get hot, you can protect yourself by following our 5 Simple Ways to Cool a Hot Notebook. Or just grab one of these portable notebook coolers/bags.

via WebMD

Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Chris Says:

    Hi, I’m Chris from Logitech. If you’re interested in learning more about ways to use your laptop more comfortably, including our line of heat-shielding lapdesks, please visit

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options