Heated Car Seats Cause Itchy Bums
Apparently, it’s not just contracting a medical condition that can give rise to an itch ‘down there’.
Two Canadian women recently complained of ‘burned bottoms’ after using heated car seats to keep them warm during a cold snap. The condition is called erythema abigne, or toasted skin syndrome, which can leave the backside damaged and cause symptoms including itchiness.
Many cars now have comfort gadgets like seat warmers – particularly useful in a country like Canada where the temperatures can often drop to well below zero. But it’s not just our Canadian cousins who like to have warm bottoms while driving; many cars in the UK and Europe have them fitted as standard. While you might think you are simply keeping yourself comfortable, you may like to think about the long term damage of having a heated seat while you are doing that daily commute.
Repeated use seems to cause the effect rather than burning from excessive heat and experts have recommended that users switch on the seat to warm things up but then turn it off when they actually sit down to drive.
The two women used their specially heated seats for about an hour a day over a period of 4 months before they began to notice symptoms. Toasted skin syndrome doesn’t happen overnight. For these women, exposure to the warmth over a period of time led to a web-like rash over the back of their thighs and bum as well as the embarrassment of an itchy anus.
According to the experts, the reason people don’t notice something like toasted skin syndrome, until they get something like an itchy anus, is because the condition occurs to the rear of the body and many people just don’t look there.
Whether the condition effects you may depend on a number of factors including how long the heated seat is on for, your weight, the clothes you wear, and where the hottest part of the seat contacts your body. It can take a few weeks or several months to develop the condition and often the first sign is a symptom such as an itchy bum.
Stop using heated seats (or at least turn them off before you sit down) and try a soothing cream to take the edge off that itchiness. How long the web-like rash lasts depends on the individual. For some it disappears in a week or two but for others it can persist over months.