Seat Warmers Can Cause ‘Toasted Skin’ Rash, Scarring

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A popular feature many of us have in our cars could be leaving us permanently scarred.

Doctors say heated seats can lead to a skin condition called Toasted Skin Syndrome.

It’s not actually a burn, but a rash caused by prolonged exposure to a warm temperature. Safety experts say heated seats average 105 degrees.

People who use their heated seats for long trips without turning them off can develop this. The heat isn’t hot enough to burn the skin, so most people don’t even know there’s a problem.

Dr. Caleb Crestwell, a dermatology specialists, says computers and heating pads can also cause the syndrome.

“We’ll see it in the lower back (and on the bottom) from people using seat warmers in their cars; we’ll see it on the lap area … from people setting lap tops on their laps,” he said.

Doctors say people who get the rash most often can also end up with a permanent tint in their skin.

  • Al Frankenstien

    Yes, so can sitting on a toaster.

    • Marine72

      I wonder if you can get it sitting on a copier?

    • ablecynic

      Dang! I wondered where that bun-rash was coming from. Guess I’ll have to move the toaster from my office chair. ;o)

    • Sammie Jo

      you’re ridiculous, see you on the 22nd we’ll see who the dummy is then.

      • IGGY

        Googly eyed Scandahovian inbred DFL Soccer Mom and impotent Dad:
        For the SAKE of the Children!! OUTLAW THE CAR SEAT WARMERS!

        • Peridot

          Or turn them off. My car’s had seat heaters for 15 years but we’ve never had a problem.

          Use your brain.

  • Doug Johnson

    The solution is simple; Those with seat warmers can ride with a seat warmer technician to tell them when they are getting too hot and to turn the seat warmer off. Add this technical position to the “Dress Warm Because It Is Cold Technician” and the “Don’t Lay in the Sun All Day Technician.”

    • Abe_Noxious

      Wouldn’t it be more cost effective to sue the car manufacturer for millions of dollars?

      • JustsaynotoWAR


        • Steve

          lmao i actually clicked on this guy’s website, check it out-
          “Whit_ney Hous_ton-WHITe HOUSe”
          “There is an extensive code online of anagrams and look alikes put together by the wealthiest people in the world with the goal of electing their spokesperson”

          I think I know why some people are out of work- time to end unemployment.

          • beazr

            yeah he’s half right, until he throws his gayblog up there. Then he discredits everything else in one swoop. Intentionally. I thought he was being sued by all these people anyway.

            • WelomceToTheMilitaryPoliceState

              Hey Steve great job copying and pasting. You must be an expert on taking things out of context to attack, discredit, and divert attention.

              Beazr, using the words gayblog doesn’t add credibility to your lack of an argument. Why would he be sued by all the people pictured? You should learn to read more and lie less. From what I read the treason committing law breaking government posting dirt bags also dominating the conversation online are the ones who will be sued.

    • Marine72

      My god! You have saver der ruler’s rear! What a boost to employment.

    • Sean

      How long before they unionize?

      • Peridot

        Seat heaters? Our @$$es? Dermatologists?

        I am unable to discern your meaning, Sean.

    • socialist slayer

      This may be a small trivial thing now, but without immediate legislation it could become an epidemic. I am sure it can somehow be linked to cancer, impotence, cramps, and obesity. We just need some new safety measure put in place so people won’t get hurt. And since it’s all about safety, no one can object to it.
      I know. Implant a “smart” chip into us that communicates with our phone to let our masters know when we are being bad. We don’t want to make master mad now do we.

      • lcs

        Take your medication now.

        • Captain Obvious

          Hmm, apparently LCS is not familiar with satire as a form of social commentary. Perhaps I’ll dub you Captain Oblivious.

  • michelle

    Here we go – warning labels & beepers on the seat warmers to tell us when they’ve been on too long.

    • JoeInMichigan

      We can’t be trusted with mere warning signals. Only an automatic shut off will do. And repeat offenders will have their warmers permanently disabled.
      If you attempt to over-ride the auto shut-off, your car will self-destruct.
      It’s in the Obamacare bill.

      • Elwood

        It was also in the Romneycare bill.

  • Tori

    Stupid article

    • Vicky bevis

      I agree, Tori, but there IS a medical president. Many times elderly people, esp. those w/o good senses of feeling in their extremedies, like diabetics, CAN develope burns w/o realizing it.

      • Peridot

        The word you were searching for is precedent, Vicky. The remainder of your post is valid and on point. Rock on.

      • matt

        A medical President? Is that like the Sturgeon General, king of all fish?

  • Not a Laughing Matter

    I’ve been to both my regular Doctor, and a Dermatologist because of a rash this year suspecting my laptop to be the cause. I bought a laptop cooler to place between my computer, and my lap, but the damage had already been done. It’s without a doubt the worst case of jock itch I’ve ever had.
    Thanks for posting this article, I will take a copy of it to my next visit to the Doctor.

    • mike


    • noitall

      Soon ObamaCare will mandate coverage for tossed bum condition, whether or not you believe in toasted bums.

    • Georgiasaraann

      Did you read his post? Where does it say he had the laptop between his legs? How did you come up with that idea? Never mind, we don’t want to know lol!

      • Georgeisanidiooot

        Because he said he has Jock itch dipshot. When would a laptop ever touch your crotch to give you a rash there. With a laptop on your lap it would only touch the tops of your thighs. Watch your tongue before you say something stupid again.

  • Richard in Minneapolis

    Sounds like a bad case of hot crossed buns.

    • Swamp Rat

      @Richard in Mpls;
      You’ve said it all! The hot buns are worse with heated leather seats! LOL!

  • Car-seat heaters may be a hazard to your health – Victoria Times Colonist : wind solar energy resellers

    […] skin syndrome." Two reports in the Archives of Dermatology describe rashes on legs that …Seat Warmers Can Cause 'Toasted Skin' Rash, ScarringCBS Localall 5 news […]

  • joedoakes101

    Now they’re going to come after my but warmer!

    No way buddy!

    That’s crossing the line!

  • Sue G

    Did some of you not read the article? The temperature of the seats/ heating pads, etc… are not so warm as to be uncomfortable but they can be causing damage-including permenant skin darkening. Did you know this could happen before you read this? I didn’t. People should be alert to this and that is what the article is about.

    • stogieguy7

      Oh yeah Sue, you’re right. After all, WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!

      Get a life…..

    • dwalk

      Oh my God!
      Don’t set in your car during the high temperatues in the summer. Always run your car and a/c for 15-20 minutes before setting down on those seats.
      But wait!
      Cooling off the car before setting down will add to Global Warming – let’s just stop driving and using heated seats.
      On other words, quit whining!

      • Sebastian Xavier

        What the hell is your problem? The same thing could have happened to anyone.
        Now that we know about the problem, we can avoid doing those things. Nobody is whining except you.

  • Martin

    “We’ll seeing it now are in the lower back (and on the bottom) from people using seat warmers in their cars; ”


    Does anyone proofread these things before they are posted?

    • Cindy

      Actually.. here’s the copied text.. “We’ll see it in the lower back (and on the bottom) from people using seat warmers in their cars; we’ll see it on the lap area … from people setting lap tops on their laps,” he said.”

      The wording in the article is correct, they’re using “we’ll” for “we will” – had they actually used the word seeing, then it would be incorrect.

      We will see = we’ll see
      We are seeing = we’re seeing (but they didn’t use the word seeing)

      I think the article wasn’t overkill at all.

      I remember when a young niece sat in our “new” car with heated seats, she was wearing shorts and bumped the seat warmer button as she climbed into the car. She sat there very uncomfortable for some time as she didn’t want to interrupt adults who were busy talking. Finally, she said – “My seat is getting really hot!” We pulled over and had her switch seats with someone as her bare legs were too toasty.

      They do put warning labels on heating pads for the same reason. We also have a heated mattress pad, which I love – but if you fall asleep when it’s on a higher temperature, it’s easy to wake up very uncomfortable from it. (If a child/senior/diabetic with nerve issues were on the bed, would they notice and wake up to correct the excess heat that can build up?)

    • PublicEd

      Sadly, I’m guessing they DO. Probably the product of our public edu-ma-cation sys-dumb.

  • jennifer

    Seems like a big “duh” to me… and who actually puts their laptop in their lap anyway? I’ve had seat warmers for 12 years and have no rash, odd skin discoloration or complaints.

  • Edward

    White House quick to put blame for this on Bush Administration and anyone rich enough to afford heated seats.

    • Elwood


  • Marc Web

    I got a rash from sitting on my computer!

  • goober

    Too late, already have a nasty one on my theigh from a laptop computer. Useless article because I been looking at that ugly blotch on my leg for months now.

  • Biff

    they also found that shoving it with a red hot poker caused numbness, pain, burning and itching.

  • Kendrick1

    Warning! Warning! Warning! Breathing causes cancer!!!! Give us your money and your first grandchild and we will save you!!–signed the Government–You can believe in Us,the Ruling Class!!

    H.L. Mencken hit the nail right on the head:

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed–and hence clamorous to be led to safety–by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

  • alright

    Well they say the population is going to be less white in the next 50 years so I don’t see a problem with my skin changing to a darker color assuming the permanent tint is darker. I am warm too as it happens..sweet.

  • skyhook

    just another situation where some people have become OVER educated.. i’m more worried about 5 year olds 3 inches away from a nintendo ds My concern is HOW do these yo yo’s get a job like this to study this stuff.

  • March 2nd
  • Piquerish

    Well, I think we need to assign a new government agency to control this bane of the people. I’m sure Obama and his fellow Bolsheviks could up with something.

  • CKAinRedStateUSA

    If the driver of a vehicle travels long distances with the seat warmer on, I suggest that he or she shouldn’t be out at all, given the apparent viciously low temperatures.

    Or, perhaps he/she should not be driving since they seem to have a fairly serious sensory misfire that could lead to harm to the driver and/or drivers hit by the toasted-tuchus travelers.

  • Dutch

    Plan on seeing this in a hemorrhoid commercial in the near future.

  • Avoicenmany

    This comes to no surprise. There is something called “laptop lap” It is caused bu the constant heat generated on the bottom of them, and I will admit I actually have a minor case of it on one leg from the CPU on my laptop. All it caused is a bit of red and dry skin, LOL I should worry about the microwave radiation given off running at 2 Ghz. next to my 0_o.
    Anyone want a good chuckle on bizarre health concerns, get the movie Wellville,

  • noitall

    This is obviously a sneaky way to avoid the 10% extra tax on tanning salons.

  • LindyMan

    The lawyers are lining up – this should be better than the hot coffee lawsuit against McDonald’s since there are more idiots with seat warmers. I’m sure they will blame all this on global warming soon enough.

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