Published on February 23rd, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Heated Car Seats Can Cause ‘Toasted Skin Syndrome,’ Study Finds
Toasted Skin Syndrome, a condition that apparently exists, is often associated with heavy laptop use- but another modern convenience can also cause the same symptoms, a new study published in Archives of Dermatology has asserted.
Although “Toasted Skin Syndrome” sounds a bit silly, the condition is known to cause pigmentation changes in skin that could be permanent. Two women were profiled in the study, a 67-year old and a 40-year-old- the former who drove a car with heated seats for about 120 hours over a winter and the latter who used the heated seats for an hour a day over for months. A doctor who treated the older woman reported that the patient presented with “rusty brown reticulated patches extending from her mid thigh to just below the hollow of her knee,” and that the pigmentation changes would likely be permanent.
The condition is not new, but is known to be associated with items like heating pads and hot water bottles that are used at tolerable temperatures over time. Of the specific risks posed by heated seats in regards to Toasted Skin Syndrome, one of the doctors who treated a patient in the study says:
“It comes down to what our mothers taught us. Everything in moderation. If I had a recommendation, it would be to use the car seat heater to warm up the seat, then turn it off. When it gets cold, turn it on again. But don’t use it for a whole six-hour drive.”
Even moderate exposure to heated seats and other direct-contact items has been known to cause “net-like mottled pigment changes” over skin that can be permanent.