This may sound crazy - but I think my Dell Inspiron E1705 has 'burned' my legs. I've waiting a long time to get on this forum because I wanted to go to a doctor first. I went to three doctors - none of them know what's wrong with my legs. Back in April 2008 I had surgery. I then stayed home from work for 5 weeks. I started using my laptop often. It's a large, heavy, 17" model. I used it without a 'laptop desk' back then. Being cold-natured, I didn't really mind the heat from it. At times it did get very hot & I'd take it off my lap. The power supply & battery both died that summer & I ordered new ones. I started to notice the shape of my thighs was changing. At first I thought it was temporary indentations from my laptop - that they'd go away after I got up & walked around a bit. They stayed there. Both legs - the same 'dents' in the same places. I went to see my family doctor. He had no clue & referred me to a Neurologist. He ran tests & did an EMG - found nothing wrong with my legs. He thought it looked like possibly the fat in my legs 'melted' & moved around to the back area. I have long, thin legs with not much fat, but maybe it did that?
I went to a third doctor & he thought it looked like something physical caused it (not a medical condition). I am a 44 year old woman To me it looks like dents formed where the laptop sat & 're-shaped' my thighs. Radiation/heat damage? I thought that working out would help them go back to their original shape, but no luck yet. That Dell laptop gets super hot. Of course I stopped using it directly on my lap after noticing the problem. I also feel some pain in the areas sometimes. It's so strange. Not sure what to do about this...it's very disturbing. Has anyone else ever heard of such a thing?
It is more common than you may think that a laptop can burn legs. This can occur with any brand laptop, as highlighted by the fact that Apple uses the word notebook (not laptop) for their portable computers and does not recommend their use on laps. So, yes, I am sure many have heard of this.
As far as what to do, a simple laptop cooling pad or lap desk works fine. Even the non powered (but vented) kind work fine to keep the laptop off of you body. It sounds like you already have some solution there - just make sure not to block your laptop vents.
As far as the current marks, I'd assume that they'll eventually go away. If not, perhaps your doctor could recommend something. I guess the worst case scenario if it bothers you that much is to consult a plastic surgeon. The cost to benefit decision there is up to you, but without seeing the concern, I'd guess the cost not to be worth it...
Good luck, and on the bright side, it sounds like there is no medical problem or serious burn damage....
Community Member Since 2003
My Dell laptop was supplied with a booklet Dell Computers and Monitors Product Information Guide. This booklet has the following statements regarding safety:
"Place the equipment on a hard, level surface. Leave 10.2 cm (4 in) minimum of clearance on all vented sides of the computer to permit the airflow required for proper ventilation."
"Do not allow your portable computer or adapter to operate with the base resting directly on exposed skin for extended periods of time. The surface temperature of the base will rise during normal operation, particularly when AC power is present. Allowing sustained contact with exposed skin can cause discomfort or burn."
You mention that you used your Inspiron often following surgery. If you were taking pain relief during this period you would have had reduced sensitivity to the heat from your computer, therefore making it more likely that damaging overheating of body tissue would occur.
Thank you hrova...hopefully they will go away. I wouldn't consider a plastic surgeon. Have been using the laptop desk or cooler for the last year & a half. The next laptop (notebook) I get will be lighter & cooler! Guess I'm stuck with Dell-Dented legs for now...
Thanks John, yes I was on pain meds for about a week. It did get extra hot as I usually had it plugged in, since the battery never lasted long. Seems to have melted me. You can feel the dents in my thighs even through my jeans. I bought this computer in the spring of 2007. Was so excited to get my first new laptop...but I should have read the owners manual!
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