Erythema ab igne
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erythema ab igne on the back
What is erythema ab igne?
Erythema ab igne is a skin reaction caused by chronic exposure to heat (heated blankets, hot water bottles, laptop computers).

Symptoms of erythema ab igne

The exposure to heat results in higher temperatures in the skin (cutaneous hyperthermia) in the range of 43-47°C. Because of this, the skin reacts with changes that result in a red reaction resembling a fishing net pattern.

Does erythema ab igne have malignant potential?

Chronic repeated exposure to heat may result in changes similar to those seen with repeated ultraviolet radiation. Benign changes such as pigmentation changes and keratosis may be seen. However, premalignant and malignant changes such as squamous cell carcinoma in situ and true squamous cell carcinoma have been reported in patients after chronic exposure to heat.


Cessation of chronic heat exposure is the key in resolving erythema ab igne. In mildly affected skin the condition may resolve within several months. In many cases, however, skin changes persist after cessation of heat exposure.
erythema ab igne

erythema ab igne

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