Toasted Skin Syndrome: Definition, Causes, and Treatment

Toasted Skin Syndrome

You might have heard some things about toasted skin  from a Tiktok trend or a group of friends. While some might be true, others might be exaggerations.

More so, some important details, like the causes and reverse methods of this skin condition might have not been mentioned. In this article, you would learn everything about toasted skin syndrome and how to reverse it.

What Does Toasted Skin Syndrome Mean?

Toasted skin syndrome is also known as Erythema Ab Igne, which is a Latin phrase translated as “redness from fire”. This skin condition happens when you expose your skin to heat or infrared radiation for a long time.

However, heat that can cause toasted skin syndrome is low-grade heat that cannot cause a burn even if there is prolonged contact. The temperature might range from 109.4° to 116.6° Fahrenheit.

Toasted skin is associated with rashes, discoloration, peeling, itching, and burning sensations in the affected area. The rashes from this syndrome are arranged in a net-like pattern that would be more pronounced if the exposure is prolonged.

Skin discoloration or hyperpigmentation as a symptom of toasted skin occurs as the heat changes the structure of the skin’s elastic fibers and surface blood vessels.

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What Are The Causes Of Toasted Skin Syndrome?

Toasted skin is caused by instruments that can emit low heat steadily. Most times, we don’t even know that that equipment is producing enough heat, while we might be using it wrongly. Some of these equipment and wrong usage methods that could cause Erythema Ab Igne include;

#1. Using laptops on your thighs

If you place a laptop directly on your thighs, you would feel low grade heat coming from the laptop to your skin after some time. If this happens for a long time, there are high chances of having toasted skin in that area, and other complications, like skin cancer.

This is mostly seen on the left thigh, as the batteries and vents of most laptops are placed on the left side.

#2 Space heaters

Research studies showed that most people that spend a long time in front of radiators or space heaters, have or would have toasted skin syndrome. This equipment produces low-grade heat that would cause reactions within your skin over some time and later toasted skin syndrome.

Heating pads or Hot water bottles

Heating pads are used in relieving pain in some parts of the body. The heat emitted from the pads is low-grade, and cannot burn your skin while relieving pain.

However, it might cause toasted skin syndrome if it is used more than the stipulated time.

●Seat heaters for cars

These heaters are fixed into car seats to make them warm especially during winter. The heaters might not be hot enough to burn your skin, but if they are used for a long time, they might cause toasted skin syndrome.

What Are The Possible Complications Of Toasted Skin Syndrome

If left untreated, toasted skin syndrome could lead to other complications. The cells of the skin might undergo malignant changes that might lead to cancer, after a few decades of untreated toasted skin syndrome.

Although it might take time to develop, toasted skin syndrome could lead to squamous cell carcinoma. Other internal malignant changes that might occur include;

Asides from the symptoms of Erythema Ab Igne mentioned above, if you notice pain and ulcerations in that area, immediately report to your doctor.

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Are There Treatment Methods For Toasted Skin Syndrome?

There is no designated treatment for toasted skin . Instead, there are different ways you could relieve the symptoms at home or in your workspace. Some of the ways include;

#1. Eliminating the heat source

Whatever the cause of the toasted skin is, it is imperative to remove it from your surroundings. Symptoms like discoloration and rashes would be resolved after the heat source is removed.

If the toasted skin syndrome is caused by using a laptop wrongly, you could place a book on your thighs before putting the laptop, or simply use a desk.

#2. Using Topical medications

If need be, you might also apply topical ointments to the affected area to relieve the symptoms. The best group of topical creams for treating toasted skin are retinoids.

Your dermatologist is in the best position to recommend a specific topical cream for your treatment.

#3. Whole milk compress

This is one home remedy for treating toasted skin. To make this compress, pour an amount of whole milk into a bowl. Put a washcloth into the bowl to soak. Apply the soaked washcloth to the affected area. Repeat the process after 15 minutes.

After applying the compress, you could also apply a cortisone cream to the affected area, while the milk is still on the skin.

However, if you think the rashes on some areas of your body are symptoms of toasted skin syndrome, first seek clinical treatments. You could try a home remedy if your dermatologist agrees to it.

How To Prevent Toasted Skin Syndrome

Treating the symptoms of toasted skin might be frustrating. As such, you should prevent this condition. Here are some prevention tips for toasted skin ;

#1. Do not stay close to heat for too long

As the condition is caused by prolonged exposure to low-grade heat, you should reduce the amount of time you spend with heated instruments. You could set a timer while using a heating pad or blanket.

You should also use heating devices at a reasonable distance from your skin. It is advised to stay at least two feet away from space heaters while using them.

#2. Use heating devices correctly

For instance, while using a heating device like a laptop, you should follow the company’s instructions of using the device on a desk to prevent cases like toasted skin syndrome. If you wish to use it on your thighs, consider placing a book underneath the laptop.

#3. Use heating devices on low levels

If you have to use heating devices for long durations, then use them on low levels or the lowest if possible. This would greatly reduce the chances of getting toasted skin, or even a burn.


Erythema Ab Igne or toasted skin syndrome is caused by low-grade heat that might not cause a burn. Sometimes, this condition is even misdiagnosed for other skin conditions.

It is imperative to report every skin change to your dermatologist. You should reduce the duration you use these devices and the intensity levels at which you use them. This could prevent toasted skin.

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