You're Legs are Toast!

This past Sunday I was sitting on the couch with my laptop on my legs 4 episodes deep binge watching Breaking Bad. In that moment when the clock timer on Netflix was counting down the seconds until the next episode I thought, is my laptop on my legs harmful to me? This wasn't the first time I have been marathoning a show on my laptop in this position so I figured I should do some research. 
As it turns out, many other people were asking this same question. I guess I'm not alone with the thought of this issue. As it turns out, there have been extreme causes where people have actually been burned by their laptops. There have been a few cases, but just enough for this burning reaction to get a name. The name is, "Toasted Leg Syndrome" and personally I think that is a hilarious name. 
There have been two prominent cases where this "Toasted Leg Syndrome" has happened. One of the cases was with a boy who played his video games on his laptop on his legs for months. The other case was with a young woman who would sit for hours a day with her overheating laptop on her chest. Both of these people experienced discoloration on the legs. This article on ABC News talks about the two people that were effected by this syndrome. 
Another article on Toasted Leg Syndrome in says that this isn't a new syndrome. It actually started back when heating pads were invented. Not only avid laptop and heating pad users could get this. According to the article, people who work around a heat like an oven can get this. Yes, even your neighborhood Papa John's pizza chef could get Toasted Leg Syndrome. So sad. 
So, this heat on our legs is basically giving the same exposure that the sun gives us. This means that in extremes, your laptop could give you skin cancer just like the sun can. I know it's a stretch, but with more and more time being spent on the laptop and not outside, our body isn't used to the heat and it could be dangerous. 
Personally, I don't think you have to worry. Instead of watching 7 episodes of your favorite show or 7 hours of reblogging on Tumblr on your lap, put your computer on a table. I know that this might mean getting off the couch, but I think it's worth it to not get Toasted Leg Syndrome.


That's so crazy! Great story, though. This actually happened to my friend a couple years ago, except it wasn't her legs; her laptop burnt a hole in the sheets on her bed! I guess it was just because it overheated or something but still, nuts to think about. This post says that Toshiba even recalled a bunch of computers a while back because they were burning people.

This is such a funny topic and something I've never heard of before. But now I know for the future to not put my laptop on my legs! I don't do it anyway, though. Out of habit, I always put my case in-between my legs and my laptop. After reading more about this "Toasted Leg Syndrome," I found a support forum on Dell's website where a user posted because she thought she was being burned by it. Then, a couple posts later, someone made a comment saying Dell produces a "Product Information Guide" and it warns users against resting laptops on direct skin for long periods of time. I guess I should read product information guides from now on.

Kaitlyn, I'm glad you chose this for a topic! I have always wondered the same thing (and my mom always nags me about it). My Mac can get pretty toasty and sometimes it gets really hot, so i'm surprised to read that it's exposure is equivalent to that of the sun. I'm sure that this theory is a combination of new devices with the general population just becoming more paranoid these days. this link is a perfect example of paranoia. Although I have heard that rumor before, I'm glad that this article has led me to research it a bit more.

I find that my laptop gets pretty hot too, especially nights like tonight where I am awake catching up on homework. I find it surprising that temperature alone can discolor your legs, probably because when I think of what discolors skin I think of the sun and UV rays. This topic makes me think.. sometimes, I find that my phone gets really hot. I wonder if there is evidence of toasted cheek syndrome? So far I haven't found anything.

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