The Health Issue with Hot Laptops on Your Lap
Most people are simply unaware of the real health issues associated with hot laptops on their laps. Yes, they get the bad posture problem because it does not take long for your back to start hurting or your neck or eyes to feel strained. So you take a short break and readjust your position.
But that other problem is the heat. Yeah, laptops get HOT!! Scorchingly HOT. Your take on the heat is to take a break and readjust the laptop on your lap or put it on another surface for awhile.
THE OTHER PROBLEM WITH THE HEAT
The vast majority of people are totally unaware of what that heat can actually do to you. Ok, you feel the heat and you eventually adjust the laptop. But unlike your back or neck, you don’t notice the damage done to your body for a very long time or at all.
The worse part is that is no guarantee everything will go back to normal or improve once the damage is done. The general consensus is that there may, if caught in time, be a good chance over time of things going back to normal. But the consensus is general. Basically nobody wants to be the harbinger of bad news.
The First Thing You May Notice is Erythema ab igne
Otherwise known as ‘Toasted Skin Syndrome’, comes from exposure to excessive heat. This condition develops over time, though how long depends on how frequently you use your laptop on your lap, and how often it gets excessively hot. The affected area develops a blotchy pink or red rash in a reticular (lattice pattern), basically a discoloration on the skin. Some medical opinions suggest that this condition is mostly aesthetic and preventing further heat exposure will cause the condition to fade.
Dr. Neil J. Korman, a dermotologist and director of the Clinical Trials Unit at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said that the medical name for “toasted skin syndrome” is erythema ab igne, which means “redness by fire.”
It’s a condition that was originally caused by people sitting for too long in front of a fire -maybe a fireplace or a space heater or prolonged exposure to a high temperature or infrared radiation like from a laptop.
In laptop-induced cases, localization on the thighs is caused by a laptop computer typically getting much hotter on one side of it than the other due to the positioning of internal components like processors, batteries and fans. There was a case of a very obese patient who was resting the laptop on his belly. He developed the skin discoloration. It doesn’t go away.
That hot laptop can lead to skin damage.
Will the damaged skin heal and return to normal on it’s own? That answer is up in the air right now. But one thing is for sure is that it will take time for it to heal.
According to Itportal.com, treatment may consist of topical 5-fluorouracil cream or laser-removal. Rarely however, skin cancer can occur at the site of Erythema ab igne.
The ONE Thing YOU WONT NOTICE
Is the temperature.
Yep, you will have no idea how hot the laptop is, only that it is hot.
It is the high temperature that causes all of the problems.
In the Journal Fertility and Sterility a study found that men who balanced a laptop on their groin regions could be putting their ability to reproduce at risk. The computers heated their scrotums to unsafe temperatures. Even with a lap pad under the computer the testicles overheated quickly.
The scrotum is very delicate and tries to remain at relatively the same temperature in diverse conditions. So setting a laptop on your lap can cut off air flow to that vital area and trap your testicles near the heat your laptop generates.
A report entitled “Increase in Scrotal Temperature in Laptop Computer Users,” published in the UK journal Human Reproduction by Dr. Yefim Sheynkin of the State University of New York at Stonybrook, noted men’s use of laptop computers on their laps, elevated temperatures around their genitals, which over time can result in decreased sperm production – jeopardizing fertility. Reason – elevated temperatures caused by heat generated by the laptop and the unnatural posture of knees squeezed together in order to balance the laptop on laps.
Within 10 or 15 minutes scrotal temperature is already above what we consider safe, but men don’t feel it, according to Dr. Yefim Sheynkin. Hot laptops have been found to increase the temperature of scrotums up to 35 degrees above the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees. And the use of a lap pad only delays the rise in temperature by about 30 minutes. Not much help.
Dr. Sheykin goes on to say the consequences of continued overheating of the testicles, called Scrotal Hyperthermia, probably isn’t permanent, but might take months to go away.
Well, some men are HOT…
Ok, back to work…
What Else Can Hot Temperatures Cause?
Glad you asked!
Prolonged skin inflammation can potentially increase chances for squamous cell skin cancer, which is more aggressive than the most common skin cancer.
An article on webmd.com says that about 15%-20% of couples that want to get pregnant aren’t able to conceive. And about half the time the man is at the root of the problem – Hot laptops.
The techies over at macinfo.us warns us that if someone’s genital area is constantly exposed to heat, a number of health problems can arise, including, but not limited to, fungal infections, infertility and even genital cancer.
Oh, and dear ladies, you are not out of the woods either. Very few studies have been done on woman and hot laptops, but you need to stop and think. Just like the men, all that heat near and on your body, particularly your reproductive organs, can’t be good.
The good people at LifeHacker.com reminds us that our laptop is designed to sit on a flat surface. Those little rubber feet or bumps on the bottom are supposed to lift the computer off the table just enough to get a bit of airflow underneath it. So when you put your laptop on your lap, you restrict that airflow, transferring all that heat to your legs instead.
The best solution is to get a Caazorii LapDesk.