Bottom warmers in cars may ease frigid winter commutes, but dermatologists warn that extended exposure to seat heaters can lead to a skin condition called “toasted skin syndrome.”
Two reports in the Archives of Dermatology describe rashes on legs that erupt by pressing against warmed-up seats for prolonged periods of time.
It might be ugly, but it’s not serious.
“Turn down the setting,” Brian Adams, a dermatologist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio, told Reuters Health. “Avoid prolonged, tight juxtapositioning of the lower legs on the hottest setting of the heated seats.”
Simply avoid contact with the heat source. Eventually toasted skin will fade, but the discolouration could last for months.
But because it can mimic other conditions, the syndrome can lead to unneeded testing for other problems if not diagnosed correctly.
Jennifer Stein, a professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center said toasted skin also is interesting because it reflects changes in technology over time. People used to get rashes from sitting close to fires.