How to Prevent Toasted Leg Syndrome While Traveling

Travel News, Travel Tips — By John Curran on October 12, 2010 at 10:00 am

Laptop users may be on the cutting edge of personal technology use, but scientists are warning that they’re at risk for a skin condition most often seen in esoteric professions like jewelry making or blacksmithing. The scientific name for it is erythema ab igne, or “toasted leg syndrome.”

As computing options get smaller, companies haven’t always done the best job of dissipating heat–  or rather they’ve done too good a job. If you have a laptop computer resting on your lap for long periods of time, you may have noticed brown stippling. It’s caused by the infrared radiation that you can’t see from internal parts of your computer, which act like an oven for your legs, according to Switched. Generally harmless, in extreme cases road warriors could risk skin cancer in later years.

For travelers looking to avoid problems there are several solutions. On a plane, you can take advantage of the tray table, as stupidly simple as that sounds. But if you’re on a train, a bus or simply waiting for your next activity to begin, there are a number of options.

One is to buy a laptop pad or a stand. These are available from a number of outlets, and several offer ergonomic improvements that may make it more comfortable to type. The less-expensive option? Try a few magazines between your lap and your computer. Use a butterfly clip to attach notes to the outside page if you need to reference your ideas.

[Image: Joel Bombardier via Flickr]

Tags: Computers, health, Toasted Leg Syndrome, Travel Tips

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