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A laptop is a device that every person wants, has, and utilizes to the fullest. There is no age bar for utility, or limit for usage. Facilitating work, information, communication, and entertainment, this all-in-one portable machine has become more like oxygen for survival. However, this electronic gadget has an optical drive that gets heated when being used, and a battery that's heated when charging. When your laptop is on, this heat is constantly released with the help of a ventilation fan at the bottom of the gadget.

When you place the laptop on your lap, the outlet through which the heat is waved-off by the ventilation fan is blocked and your skin is exposed to this heat instead. Gradually your skin can begin to burn, which is a common thing to experience. But if this practice is prolonged or becomes a habit, you may encounter the "Toasted Skin Syndrome." This is a progressive syndrome characterized by rashes, skin lesions, darkened skin area, spongy uneven texture, and can progressively lead to skin cancer. Basically the skin region on your legs appears like a slice of burnt toast. The intensity is more on the left foot as the left end of your laptop (when the screen faces you), is the side where your optical drive is assembled. The same thing could happen while using palm tops. You could experience the skin on your palm feeling toasty. The skin on the palms is far more sensitive and hence this syndrome attacks faster in such cases.

So what can you do about it? Prevention is better than cure! Try the following:
1. Place your laptop on a work table always. You can mount it on a pile of books as well.
2. Use a cooling pad. This prevents your laptop from getting heated too much, too fast.
3. Keep the zoom high and the height to your comfortable level so that you don't need the laptop on your lap.
4. Get a suitable laptop case or a cushion on your lap and then place your laptop on that. But beware; there have been instances when the cloth has been burned if the laptop has been sitting on it for too long.
5. Take breaks at regular intervals and let your laptop get that break too! Avoid the sleep mode as much as you can.

If you think you have been experiencing the "toasted skin syndrome," consider the above tips and consult a dermatologist to get help. Remember, laptops are not just for your lap. They can be placed on furniture too.


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