Toasted Skin Syndrome and Treatment

Toasted skin is a common name for a condition called Erythema ab igne, which a highly visible skin disorder is caused by excessive and long term thermal exposure. It usually starts with itchiness and general irritation of one part of the skin and if it’s not treated you will definitely notice some marks which have a high tendency to spread. Some people with mild thermal exposure might get through the condition without ever having most obvious symptoms of toasted skin though.

This syndrome is most common with elderly people who like to sit too close to fire or radiator. Combined with low blood circulation, this condition really starts to accelerate once it appears. With younger people it’s not that easy to get it, but women in general have a higher tendency to it. In addition to that, there are many other common causes for this condition, including resting your laptop on your lap, repeated usage of hot bottles or electric blankets in order to heat yourself up – basically, any application of mild to high heat which is done repeatedly can cause toasted skin syndrome.


Since there are so many stages of toasted skin, treatment methods differentiate depending on how intense of an effect it has on you. For mild irritations chances are that it will go away on its own. If, on the other hand, the condition isn’t getting any better within one month chances are that the damage done to the skin is permanent. If the condition reaches this stage, you’re actually making the toasted skin syndrome and treatment impossible, as this is, in fact, permanent physical damage done to the skin and on a large surface. There is nothing you can do about this other than having your skin transplanted, which is a bit too extreme.

Still, it’s important to know that in extreme cases this condition can help you develop skin cancer. This is mostly affected by the time you’ve been exposed to excess heat and makes everything worse if the time interval is shorter. If your condition is not getting any better, you will most likely be required to get a detailed checkup just so you can eliminate any presence of cancer cells, which will make the treatment a lot more difficult in case these are present. This is usually done by biopsy and is considered to be one of the most reliable procedures to take under these conditions. In case there are no skin cancer cells, your pigmentation might be permanent. If this is the case, you will be able to improve your condition only with a laser surgery, which can burn away some of the damage, leaving fresh skin cells to do their job and rejuvenate small segments of your skin. With major skin defects this doesn’t work at all, so it’s best for you to look around and eliminate any sources of heat you’ve been using that might cause this condition to happen to you, since this is in fact the best possible way to avoid it.

About the author

Rani Vyas

Rani Vyas

I'm a Medical Consultant Doctor with a keen interest in Medical bioinformatics and genuinely intriguing way of presenting boring medical knowledge in an enchanting and eye catching way.

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