Published on October 6, 2010 at 5:28 PM
By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Doctors warn that balancing the laptop on the knees can cause severe damage to the skin that includes skin discoloration or even cancer.
A condition known as toasted leg syndrome was diagnosed in a 12 year old boy who used his laptop to play games became the 10th reported case in the past six years. This condition was common earlier this century from sitting too close to the fireplace. The condition can also affect bakers and silversmiths who deal with heat. This was reported by Swiss researchers in the acclaimed journal Pediatrics.
There have been reports of skin cancer developing within this eruption say Swiss researchers Andreas Arnold and Petwer Itin. Eastern Virginia Medical School's Kimberly Salkey explained that when the laptops are working the processor creates a lot of heat. If the fans and vents are closed up by the legs temperatures can soar up to 117 to 125 degrees.
An older study by State University of New York researchers found that heat generated from laptops can raise the temperature of the scrotum when balancing the computer on one's lap, potentially putting sperm count at risk.
Experts advise that one should pay attention to how hot the laptop gets. Instead of putting a pillow underneath the laptop – a process that can block up the vents and fans, they recommend putting the laptop on a desk or hard surface.