News 9 Producer's Attempt To Stay Warm Leads To Toasted Skin - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

News 9 Producer's Attempt To Stay Warm Leads To 'Toasted Skin Syndrome'

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Schnee Garcia uses a space heater under her desk to ward off the chill in the News 9 newsroom. Schnee Garcia uses a space heater under her desk to ward off the chill in the News 9 newsroom.
Garcia didn't realize what the space heater was doing to her legs. Garcia didn't realize what the space heater was doing to her legs.
The heat source led to what's known as Toasted Skin Syndrome, an unsightly and uncomfortable condition. It's also caused by car-seat warmers, laptops, electric blankets, and heating pads. The heat source led to what's known as Toasted Skin Syndrome, an unsightly and uncomfortable condition. It's also caused by car-seat warmers, laptops, electric blankets, and heating pads.
Dr. Tiffany Brazeal the heat sources can lead to permanent discoloration or even skin cancer; but prevention is as simple as removing the heat source. Dr. Tiffany Brazeal the heat sources can lead to permanent discoloration or even skin cancer; but prevention is as simple as removing the heat source.
Garcia says she was grateful her long wedding dress covered the condition on her big day. Garcia says she was grateful her long wedding dress covered the condition on her big day.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Now that the weather is turning cold, people use all kinds of heat sources to stay warm. But the methods we use could be causing an unsightly skin condition.

It's a tough lesson one of News 9's own morning producers had to learn the hard way. She's now dealing with something called "toasted skin syndrome."

Schnee Garcia recently married; and on her big day, she was secretly thankful her wedding dress was long because it covered what she'd just discovered on her legs.

"I was at my last dress fitting with my bridal party, and she said 'OMG! What is that on your leg?' I had no idea, but the whole next day during my wedding, I kept looking at it," Garcia said.

Garcia learned the strange pattern on her leg was erythema ab igne; better known, and easier to say, as toasted skin syndrome.

Even worse, Garcia learned the culprit was under her desk. Sometimes the newsroom gets cold, and like many employees, she uses a space heater to fight the frigid air.

"Prior to central heating, people would sit by the fire to warm their legs for hours and would develop skin damage to the lower extremities," dermatologist Dr. Tiffany Brazeal said. She said the modern-day version of toasted skin syndrome is caused by car-seat warmers, laptops, electric blankets, heating pads and, of course, space heaters.

It's rare, but the repetitive exposure to such heat sources can cause extreme damage such as permanent discoloration, or even skin cancer.

But Dr. Brazeal says treatment is simple.

"The most important treatment is immediate removal of the heat source, and that can reverse the discoloration."

Garcia has learned something from the heating hassle, but she's still hooked to her space heater and has no plans to stow her heat source.

"I'm pretty much addicted to it. Our newsroom is so cold; but I will put it further from my feet from now on."

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