Clinical case of erythema ab igne caused by the laptop




Erythema ab igne, skin lesion, livido, laptop, skin’s exposure to heat, clinical case


Erythema ab igne is a localized skin condition invol­ving the reticular hyperpigmentation, epidermal atrophy, and te­langiectasias. It is caused by a repetitive and prolonged exposure to a moderate heat or infrared radiation, insufficient for produ­cing burns. At the moment, erythema ab igne is most commonly observed after a repeated use of hot water bottles, infrared lamps, heating pads and heaters. The number of thermal skin lesions is on the increase in young people who, while working, keep the laptop on their hips and knees. For rheumatologists, this pathology may be of clinical interest, since skin alterations may resemble skin lesions attending systemic diseases of the connective tissue. This study presents a case of late diagnosed heat erythema in a young woman due to the laptop use, which resulted in an impro­per treatment and a large number of unnecessary laboratory and instrumental studies. Late diagnosis is caused by the lack of doctors’ awareness of this pathology, which may lead, as in the described case, to an improper treatment and a large number of unnecessary laboratory and instrumental studies.


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