how to treat toasted skin syndrome at home

How To Treat Toasted Skin Syndrome At Home

Do you spend a long time with your laptop sitting on your thighs or drive your car with heated seats turned on maximum? If you noticed marks on your legs that just don’t disappear after a while, you have toasted skin syndrome.

How to treat toasted skin syndrome at home?

You can treat toasted skin with Aloe vera, a well-known remedy for all kinds of burns including second-degree burns and various wounds. It soothes, hydrates, and works anti-inflammatory. Always go for 100% pure organic aloe vera gel without colorants and additives.


What Actually Is Toasted Skin Syndrome

Toasted skin syndrome, technically erythrema ab igne, is a skin condition caused by long-term exposure to heat.

In history, it used to be often seen in people who worked at open fires or coal stoves. Nowadays, other things cause this skin condition.

What Does The Toasted Skin Syndrome Look Like

The skin in the affected area is pink, red, or brown and there are spots or blemishes with a reticulated pattern. It looks like a brown marble cake on your skin.

What Happens With The Skin

Degeneration of the elastic fibers, damage caused by the exposure to heat. It can even lead to skin cancer but the purpose of this article is not to scare you. Nevertheless, if there is a persistent sore that doesn’t heal or a growing lump in the rash, you should seek advice and examination by your doctor immediately.

What Is Toasted Skin Syndrome Caused By

  • repeated use of heaters, electric blankets, or heated cushions
  • exposure to infrared lamps
  • use of sauna belts for abdominal obesity
  • heated recliners to relieve chronic lower back pain
  • laptops (the so-called „laptop dermatitis“)
  • seat warmers

Especially the heated car seats are something many of us would never think of as a possible culprit. Or would you?

I found an interesting case reported by Reuters but originally described by Brian Adams, a dermatologist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio.

In this case, seen by Dr. Adams, a 67-year-old woman developed toasted skin syndrome on the back of her legs.

The pattern of the markings matched parts of her legs that touched her car seat. Her left leg that remained pressed against the seat, for instance, had more discoloration than the right leg she used to operate the pedals.

During the winter, the woman had her car seat heater turned on during 130 trips lasting 45 minutes each and another 10 trips lasting two hours each.

What Temperature Can Cause The Damage

Experts say mild-to-moderate heat between 109.4 to 116.6 degrees Fahrenheit (42 to 46 degrees Celsius) is enough to cause burns. However, 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius) is enough to cause toasted skin syndrome.

Obviously, you can’t measure the temperature of your skin in the exposed area there and then, but you can feel the heat is just too high.

Considering the normal temperature of our body is about 96.9 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Celsius), common sense anything over 40

Erythrema From Laptop

A young man asked a question about his skin condition and if there was a possible treatment for it. His description is pretty much self-explanatory:

„About a month ago, I spent the day playing games on my laptop and it got really heated. I felt it get super hot on my left thigh, more so than usual, but it was still tolerable so I left it there. Now I have a huge spider-like red mark on my left thigh. I’ve had red marks before from my laptop, but none this “spider-vein like” and none that persisted this long.

It also seems to fade and darken depending on my body temperature. If I take a warm shower, it will get SUPER dark and fade to its usual redness after a few hours. It doesn’t hurt. It’s not irritated. It doesn’t itch. It doesn’t peel. It’s just odd and ugly. Can I expect it to fade over time? Is it permanent? What should I do? Is there a treatment for this? The only thing I’ve done is alter how I sit with my laptop. (no more lap).“

Erythrema From Heating 

Having your laptop that is overheating on your lap is not the only case when you can „catch“ this unusual skin issue.

If you love using heating pads or electric heating blankets and use them too often, chances are the toasted skin syndrome might occur on the part of your body exposed to the heat, too.

A woman asked in a forum how to treat this condition and she reported she was sitting by the radiator and one of her legs was exposed to the heat for a long time.

How To Find Out If You Have Toasted Skin Syndrome

As I mentioned above, the skin looks red and irritated so you might be wondering whether you are experiencing a toasted skin syndrome or rather a rash or allergic reaction.

How can you determine that?

In the case of the erythrema ab igne, the skin shows a mottled, sponge, or net-like pattern. It doesn’t itch or hurt. The skin is not irritated, it shows damage inside.

Does Toasted Skin Syndrome Go Away

If the area is only mildly affected with slight redness, the condition will resolve by itself over several months. If the condition is severe and the skin pigmented and atrophic, the discoloration may persist for months or even years.

How To Treat Toasted Skin Syndrome At Home

Of course, you should stop exposing your body to the heat, otherwise, it will only get worse.


To improve the condition of your skin instantly, you can use one of the following quick remedies:

You may use some pure aloe vera gel on the affected area to help it heal faster and reduce the redness.

This article may contain affiliate links which means I could make a small commission if you purchase anything using one of the links. The price you pay will not be affected. It helps me run this website and write these articles for you.

Make sure you go for a pure aloe vera gel without fragrance and unnecessary additives. I can recommend 100 % pure and natural ESSLUX Aloe Vera Gel.

Apply aloe vera gel just like in case of other burns. Aloe vera is an effective remedy for burns from the oven, open flame, or sun. It soothes, hydrates, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Your skin will be relieved and the healing process can start.


Use vitamin E oil. Vitamin E application shows great results on scars as well so you can never get wrong with that.

If none of the home remedies helps, a treatment with laser or topically applied tretinoin might be necessary, but if you have severe erythrema ab igne, you should seek advice from your doctor.

In the video bellow, Dr. O’Donovan provides a short summary of the causes and symptoms:


Conclusion/Final Thoughts

Treat your skin damaged by heat exposure and showing signs of toasted skin syndrome with extra care. It might look bad now but chances are it will improve in time and you might get rid of it completely.

But it can only get better if you stop exposing your skin to the heat.

You don’t need any super expensive skin care products or ointments to treat your skin affected by the heat and experiencing the toasted skin syndrome. A pure aloe vera gel will do. Apply it onto your skin every day and for better results, add vitamin E oil as well.


33 thoughts on “How To Treat Toasted Skin Syndrome At Home

  1. Hello there! This is an awesome article you’ve got here, it is highly educational and I think with this information gotten from here, one can even prevent the syndrome. I’ll try out the vitamin E oil in order to prevent the syndrome rather than treating it.

    Thank you very much for sharing this.

    1. I’m glad I could share. Vitamin E is a really great remedy for scars as well, and for all kinds of burns. 

  2. Oh my goodness, I have never heard of this before! Now that I think about it, this all makes so much sense, it’s crazy how the things we do have a ripple effect. I always try to think of the pros and cons when it comes to how things change our bodies by aging. You my dear have opened my eyes and I’m so glad you did. I will be bookmarking your site for future beauty advice! Thank you for bringing this topic to light. 

    1. Then you are like me, I also weigh up pros and cons often and always look for solutions (mainly natural remedies) against aging. There’s always something new to try or consider. 
      Toasted skin syndrome is a serious thing and it’s a bit out of my usual anti aging topics but I thought it was necessary to point out at it because so many people use laptops and drive in cars with heated seats. 

  3. Hi and thanks for this helpful article on how to treat toasted skin syndrome at home. Whereas I’d always avoided placing a laptop on my lap for extended periods of time, it’s shocking to learn that even heated car seats or seating for extended periods near radiators can cause equal damage!

    Nevertheless, being one to always prefer home remedies, I’m glad that both your recommendations advocate for solutions in their pure natural state. This article will offer great relief for people who’d searched high and low for a solution so thanks again for these wonderful recommendations.

    We are Blessed.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Mark. Yeah, aloe vera is a great remedy for many other problems and I think many people still don’t know about it. Both aloe vera and vitamin E are great for burns and scars, very helpful.

  4. What a timely website to come across since I just turned 78. I tend to use exercise as my main anti-aging tool and I am interested in learning about skincare. My gender is male.

    Your website caught my interest immediately as it looked so organized. Your main topics are placed in a good position and the moving articles along the top of the page are very “eye-catching”. I read the article on Toasted Skin Syndrome since I had never heard of it. You may have mentioned that Aloe Vera Plants are excellent for use on the skin and the plants are very easy to grow.

    I really liked the colors you used with the soft gray background making the rest of your articles stand out. It appears you have learned much about web design, something I have yet to learn.

    I also read your article on eggs and you have covered the subject very well. Your blogs on each category contain excellent images. I have bookmarked your site because I feel more educated on this subject and I want to read more.

    Congratulations on an excellent website and I wish you the best!

    1. I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed reading my articles, Murray. Food for good health and skin, which actually is what anti aging is about, has always been in my focus. I’ve studied a lot about that and still keep doing so because there are always new things and research. 

      My father was a scientist and I’ve probably inherited his interest in research, reading, studying and writing. I’m really glad you appreciate the information I provide on my website. By the way, eggs are one of my favourite foods 🙂

      If you are interested in something in particular, feel free to ask or request a topic for me to write about. 

  5. Hello dear. Thanks for sharing this concise article. I  believe this is exactly what my aunty really needs. She’s been complaining about her skin so I decided to do some research and saw your post. I am really glad I got to see this information, I believe the aloe gel is going to help her. I will surely do some recommendation!

    1. Hello Skuchmane, I’m happy you found the information you were looking for that will help your aunt solve her problem. The toasted skin syndrome in more widespread than one would think and it really looks scary when you first come across it. If it’s just fresh, it’s easy to get rid of it as the skin recovers with help of aloe vera gel or vitamin E, but when people don’t pay attention to it and leave it for many years, adding up more heat to the same place, it leaves bad marks that are permanent. So the sooner one notices, the better. Hope this information will help your aunt.

  6. Hi, Lenka,
    I have heard about rashes and rosacea (I’m prone to the latter), but never about this toasted skin syndrome.
    However, if we think carefully about it, it makes sense. We’re constantly exposed to radiation and other harmful elements that may go unnoticed.
    I guess I have been lucky. When it’s cold, I turn the seat warmers on but try not to make them super hot, and I only leave them like that for a little.
    I rarely put my laptop on my lap lol, so that must have helped me, too.
    It’s always good to know about these things in case we encounter them in future. Thanks for the information.

  7. This is definitely a helpful article on how to treat toasted skin syndrome at home.
    I’m so glad I found your website with so much helpful advice. I will be bookmarking your site to get more advice in future! Thank you for bringing this topic to light.
    The toasted skin syndrome is more widespread than one would think and it really looks scary when you first come across it.
    It’s shocking to learn that even heated car seats or seating for extended periods near radiators can cause equal damage!
    Nevertheless, being the one to always prefer home remedies, I’m glad that both your recommendations advocate for solutions in their pure natural state.

    1. I’m glad I could provide some helpful information to you. Yes, home remedies are always my first choice.

  8. Interesting article and I must admit that I haven’t heard of toasted skin syndrome. Can this also be caused by long term exposure to the sun, or is it from other heat sources over time? I definitely won’t be working with the laptop on my lap anymore after reading this.

    I also have skin that goes red easily and it looks almost like that, but drier. I don’t think I have toasted skin syndrome though as it is more due to my pale coloring and dry skin. 

    1. I think it could be caused by long exposure to sun when you skin is covered with something black, let’s say you would lay in the sun in the same position for several hours covered with a black blanket. The blanket gets hot and emits the heat onto your skin so that this erythrema occurs.
      When you have pale and sensitive skin that gets red easily, you should be very careful. A protective cream with high UV factor is a must.

  9. Dear Lenka, I really enjoyed your article. I’ve never heard of erythrema ab igne, and it is so useful to know about it as a preventative measure! Goodness me, I love blasting my car seat heater..! I’ll definitely ease on that. Also, I felt sorry for the guy who’s developed the spider-web pattern on his things after using a heated laptop. That must be so stressful and disconcerting for him. I’ve always been careful about having a laptop on my lap because of the radiation and electromagnetic frequencies which are definitely not good for the inner organs, but I’ve never thought of that in the light of the heat and possible skin problems. How interesting! 

    May I ask you a question about another type of skin problem? My 38-year old sister has developed dry, almost paper-like complexion on her face. Would there be anything specific that you would suggest to improve this puzzling condition? Maybe a lot of internal remedies, such as vitamin E, or external such as avocado oil? Just guessing, as an amateur…:) Many thanks for your advice, Lenka, and thanks a lot again for the great read!

    1. Hello Lucie, this syndrome is obviously becoming more and more frequent as there are so many people working or playing with laptop on their legs. It’s good to be aware of that and be careful, as well as with heated car seats.

      Regarding your question, I would say almost with certainty that your sister needs healthy fats and omega 3 fatty acids. I wrote an article about the importance of omega 3 fatty acids, talking about my own experience with that as well. It is here: What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids Good For?

      I also found out that essential oils work very well to moisturize skin from the outside. I’ve been using jojoba oil and cannabis oil instead of cream in my evening routine and it really helps.

  10. Thank you so much for this informative post on toasted skin syndrome, a condition that I had not heard of before. Vitamin E is such a versatile oil, so it is great to see that it is beneficial in the home treatment of toasted skin syndrome. 

    You mention the use of aloe vera as well and in a gel form, so I am just wondering if one could also use an aloe vera leaf from the plant to rub on the affected area?

    1. Sure you can! Aloe vera is such a magical plant. We have one at home and when my boyfriend got burned working outside in the sun, I rubbed his shoulders and back with an aloe vera leaf. He said it was so soothing, feeling the aloe vera juice soothing the skin deep inside. 

  11. Interestingly enough, I came across this article while doing a Google search. I’ve had this unsightly condition on both of my legs for over 30 years. It all began after I visited a friend in Sacramento. I was playing tennis in heat over 110 and broke out in hives all over my body.
    Since then, I’ve been embarrassed of anyone to see my legs. I haven’t worn shorts or a swimming suit in public for decades. I’m going to a vein clinic next week, to see if anything can be done about “Toasted Leg Syndrome” I’ll let you know what they say. I don’t think too many people know about this condition. Thanks for bringing it to light!

    1. Yeah, I also don’t think many people know about this and feel embarrassed thinking something is wrong with their body not being aware it’s from the heat and it can be treated. Definitely let me know what they tell you in the clinic, Merrilee. I hope they will help you!

  12. Good afternoon Lenka,

    I have noticed my computer can get really hot, especially in the summer. On one side it has a stick from left to right so it gets more air underneath. I cannot work like that having it on my legs. I now have a padded cushion on my legs and the top is a piece of fiberboard, which is a platform with the computer on top of it. This functions rather well and avoids me from getting Toasted Skin.

    Your tip on using Aloe Vera gel is an excellent tip. This plant is really miraculous and can be used for many problems. Personally, I love it and use it often. Thank you for this good read.

    Regards, Taetske

    1. Dear Taetske,
      It’s always nice to hear from you, thank you for sharing your experience. The laptops can really produce big heat and people sometimes notice when it’s too late.
      You are right about aloe vera, I have my aloe vera plant at home and use it for all purposes.

  13. Dear Lenka,
    I am one of your followers I am also a believer that there is always a better way. So I research better ways to maintain a healthy body inside and out.
    I am happy to say that I have found many useful tips from your articles. Some do not pertain to me personally, but as a researcher and a helper, I can always count on your work as future references for others.
    Some of these are vitamin E and Aloe Vera. These two work wonders on aging skin.

    1. Dear Linda,
      I’m very happy that you are my follower and value my articles. Just like you, I always find for the best and most natural solution, instead of turning to doctors.
      You are right that vitamin E and aloe vera work wonders on aging skin. I’ve also found out that retinol and betacarotene help with wrinkles; scientists support that as well. I’m going to write about it in the future, and also about water purification. There are so many topics I have in mind for future articles.
      Thanks for your continuous support.

  14. Hi Lenka. Typical – I spent years envying those with heated car seats in the winter and now that I finally have a car equipped with heated seats it has associated health risks! Seriously though, thanks for the heads-up. I’ll try to use them sparingly 🙂

  15. Starting at this time of year, I have the car seat heater on whenever I am in the car – passenger or driver. This article is a good cautionary tip.  At this point, I don’t have “heated” skin, but I am being careful. I also use a heating pad daily on my back.  Pointing me to rosemary oil for heated skin makes sense. I use it at the beginning stages of poison oak and it seems to stop the spread.  All the tips in this article are great.

    1. I’m glad you liked the tips, Anastazja. Yeah, it’s good to be cautious with heated car seats and heating pads.

  16. Interesting post, Lenka. I haven’t heard of this syndrome, or at least did not know it had a name. I imagine it is what used to happen when people had cold homes and would sit close to an open fire for warmth. The legs would become very red as you described. 

    My husband has a bad habit of leaning his legs against the radiator when it is on. At least I know how to treat it now too. I do have pure organic Aloe Vera Gel and Vitamin E Oil to hand as I make my own skin cream.

    Thank you for this helpful information.

  17. I didn’t know there was such a thing as toasted skin syndrome but I do now. I learned a lot from your article, I now know why I have a few marks on my leg and how to treat them at home. Do you think the aloe vera gel will help remove the marks completely if they are probably there for a longer time? I mean, does it matter whether the skin was damaged a long time ago or it’s a fresh mark?

    1. You can never be wrong with aloe vera and vitamin E, aloe vera improves all skin issues and vitamin E heals scars, so I would try that and then I’d see if it helped or not. It very much depends on the damage, how severe it was. In the worst cases, surgery is necessary. 
      However, I have a scar on my belly after a surgery that’s very old and it still can be improved with massaging and vitamin E. 

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