By Lambeth Hochwald
Who doesn't love a laptop for its convenience? Problem is: perching it on your lap at the coffee shop or on the train may be hurting you. That's because a laptop can get up to 100° F—putting you at the risk of a skin burn and other skin damage, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland. "Your laptop may produce mottling or discoloration of the skin," says Douglas Hamilton, M.D., a dermatologist in Los Angeles and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA. What to look for? "You'll usually see a mark on your left thigh since the battery and ventilation fan are under the left side of most laptops."
The fix: Place your laptop on a hard surface or purchase a laptop mat or cooling device. There are several varieties available. Some redistribute the hot air and others are filled with cooling crystals.