Correspondence |

Automobile Seat Heater –Induced Erythema Ab Igne

David Brodell, BA; Eliot N. Mostow, MD, MPH
Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(2):264-265. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.1158.
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Erythema ab igne (EAI), a netlike dermatosis, is caused by repeated exposure to moderate levels of heat (infrared radiation). Most seat heaters reach an upper limit of 43.0 °C (109.4 °F) with a deviation of about 1.8 °C (3.8 °F).1 Malfunctioning seat heaters have reached even higher temperatures, nearing 48.9 °C (120.0 °F), causing second-degree burns, especially in patients with mobility and sensory deficits.1,2 However, EAI can occur with chronic exposure to normally functioning heated car seats.

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Figure 1. Reticulate erythema and hyperpigmentation typical of erythema ab igne is present bilaterally on the posterior thighs following chronic exposure to a car seat heater.

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Figure 2. Four months after exposure to the car seat heater ceased, the erythema ab igne is 50% faded.




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Automobile seat heater-induced erythema ab igne. Arch Dermatol 2012;148(2):264-5.
Heated car seat-induced erythema ab igne. Arch Dermatol 2012;148(2):265-6.