UMEM Educational Pearls


A 25 year-old female presents complaining of a "net-like" rash bilaterally on her medial thighs. She denies any pain but states that the rash looks “pretty scary” What's the diagnosis?


Answer:  Erythema ab igne (a.k.a. "toasted-skin syndrome")


Erythema ab igne

  • Heat-induced dermal melanosis
  • Occurs secondary to chronic exposure of a heat source on skin (e.g., laptop computer, heating pad, hot water bottle, etc.).
  • Prolonged exposure leads to permanent hyperpigmentation and a small risk of carcinoma.
  • With respect to the current case, the heat exposure occurred secondary to a space heater that she kept between her legs to keep warm while working as a parking lot attendant.


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