The past week here in Texas has been brutal. Ok, compared to Minnesota not that brutal. For Texas though, the icy mornings that culminated in the ice storm were bad. It just seems the damp cold and the howling winds cut all they through to your soul.

With that in mind, more and more Texas drivers are opting for heated seats in their vehicles. On these icy mornings, there's nothing like slipping your buttocks into a nicely warmed car seat. Unfortunately, heated car seats have a dark side.

Photo: Rhino Linings of Delaware
Photo: Rhino Linings of Delaware

I'm not about to admit in public that this has happened to me, butt (like what I did there?_ heated seats are causing a rise in bizarre medical problems. There is actually a medical condition known as "toasted skin syndrome".

This is no laughing matter. It might be a snickering matter but not for anyone who has gone through it. The Archives of Dermatology calls it "erythema ab igne". This is Latin for "redness from fire". In just plain Texas English it is often called "toasted butt syndrome".

It is described as a rash caused by prolonged exposure to artificially heated surfaces, like heated car seats. Conditions observed include a web of red lines in some cases. In other cases, they're described as brown reticulated patches.

That just sounds horrible.

It gets even worse. One man on a road trip from Missouri to Louisiana received third-degree burns on his upper legs and second-degree burns on his lower legs. The Chevy Silverado pickup he drove had heated seats without an automatic shutoff. The man, who was paralyzed, didn't realize he was burning

For most people, the treatment for a mild case of toasted butt syndrome is to lay off the heated seats for a while. That should be no problem here in Texas as temperatures warm up as fast as they cooled down in the first place. In some cases, however, the lesions become visually disturbing and can require laser therapy.

Woman needs to poop, outdoor

Enjoy those heated seats, but maybe don't leave them on high for too long.  It can be quite embar "ass" ing to have to sit all lopsided or explain to co-workers why you have burn marks on the back of your pants.

If anyone has to mention your hot butt, let it be a compliment and not a description of your medical condition.

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