Heating pad dangerous?

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dmoonchild's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/26/2008 - 9:03pm
Heating pad dangerous?

I pretty much use my heating pad all the time, well I was getting in the shower the other day and my husband said OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look at your back. I have brown spots all over from the heating pad is. Could I be cooking myself?It looks disgusting. Im so addicted to my heating pad, but I feel like a roast beef now!

deltalady's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/21/2008 - 4:19pm

I don't know what type of heating pad you have but I've used one for a lot of years and never heard of such a thing. Could it be that you used a different detergent to wash your clothes or possibly a new body lotion that reacted with the heat? Or maybe something you ate? Just a thought!

Now I don't have the Infrared heating pad so I can't speak to that particular kind of heating pad.

Now I know you must be beside yourself not to be able to use a heating pad right now so I guess it's the old hot water bottle for a little while. Also check out massage web sites -- there is a something that you fill with hot water and lay on it -- My massage person had one on his table one time and it wsa wonderful -- I think they cost around $25.

Hope you find out what caused the blisters -- Don't want more pain!

Take care,


maddysmom's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/26/2008 - 6:48pm
Yes, you have to be careful

with heating pads. My husband fell asleep with his on all night and got burned so severe he had to go to the ER. It took months to heal and he has a permanent scar. I use mine all the time too....can't fall asleep without it. When I can afford it, I'm going to get the infrared kind. They have received 5 star ratings and they go much deeper beneath the skin.

TTLC's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 04/05/2009 - 12:28pm

Oh no... what a bummer.

I have never had this happen myself, but when I think about it... I can see how this could happen.

Big ouchie! Worried

You may want to give your doctor a call to see if there is something he/she recommends to apply on those areas, so they can heal. You may want to ask if you can use a tea towel between your skin and the heating pad, during the healing time? I don't know if that would work, but might be worth asking.

I rely heavily on my heating pad for daily and nightly treatments. I would be in a world of hurt if I had to stop using it, so it's really unfortunate to hear about this happening to you.

Prior to purchasing the Platinum Infrared heating pad, I was using the Therma Care disposable wraps. I still use these on my neck, knees and arms... when the weather acts up. I used to use them on my back and they can get pretty hot, so I don't know if you could use these right now.

I wish you a speedy recovery and please let us know how everything goes.


Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/20/2008 - 3:32pm

Its called erythema ab igne. Some of the older dermatology textbooks state it can be precancer to squamous cell carcinoma, others disagree. I recommend yearly dermatology checks.

I know how you feel. Heat was wonderful after fusion surgery, now cold packs are more my friend. Good luck.

Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 08/31/2008 - 2:43pm
Yes, watch the temp and the duration

Ice helps by decreasing swelling and shocking the tissue to bring in blood flow once the ice has been talken off.

Heat helps buy heating the tissue and causing increased blood flow during heating process.

Sorry heat/ice 101, most probably know.

Besides the damage to your tissue that too much heat can cause, it can also make your back pain worse if you dont give your back/neck some down time.

That said, I love my heating pad and always have to keep myself from over using it because it helps with the pain so much.

Clandy (not verified)
Title: Member
You should definitely have

You should definitely have your doc take a look at that....you might need to see a derm. or, you might find out that it's normal... scary, but normal. It could be something like meds and heat reacting oddly (like that condition that some women get on their face in sun, when pregnant?)

It's weird, I love my heating pad... but I've been using ice more than heat lately My back is so hot to the touch that I kind of thought that putting more heat on it might not be a good idea. Ice helps....but it's not nearly as comforting as heat Sad

dilauro's picture
Last seen: 26 min 25 sec ago
Title: Moderator
Joined: 06/16/2008 - 9:41pm
Oh yes, indeed be careful about heating pads

I generally use the hydropacks that I put in hot water for a while and then use it.
About 18 months ago, I did this and because I was having some upper back problems, I went to bed (with a tshirt and SweathShirt on and put the pad under my shoulders. I wasnt really hot.
Well, the next morning, after showering, my wife saw this big red mark on my back. I was getting worse, so we did go to an Dermologist and it was determined that it was a third degree burn. He had to go in (surgically) and dig out the eschar. I waned to keepi it for my records, but was not allowed to
After he dug out the eschar, he needed to do some cosmetic surgery. He cut some of the outer layer of skin and then pulled it down to cover the hole.
Then he stitched me up with about 100 stitches. So now I have a good size scar that looks like an upside down Russian flag logo.

If you need heating pads (and who doesnt)

1- Dont let it get too hot
2- Dont lay on it, instead put the pad on top of you!

We believe that I got the third degree burn, because
a- IThe heat source was below me, so as I slept, I trapped in all the heat causing my problem

So, that has slowed me down a bit.. Hopefuly, noonei gets themselvsi into this kinda of peoblem

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Moderator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences.

Peter B
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/20/2008 - 3:40am
Heating pad

My daughter is largely bed-bound and uses a heating pad all of the time.
Last week she noticed frayed wires, and stopped using it.
The plastic covering was also brittle and breaking up.
So, always check your heat pad for wear and damage.
She took over my pad, which has a 2 hour limit, but says it just isn't hot enough.
Yet I found it too hot.
From being hot in bed, or from a hot bath, I get Grover's Disease. It clears up but always comes back if I get too hot.

Wrambler's picture
Last seen: 4 years 4 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 01/21/2009 - 9:28pm
Wait a minute

Uh, There are these things called HEATED MATTRESS PADS. I have been using one for two years. It is wonderful. No small pad to slip out of place, won't get hot enough to "cook" you etc;
Even on high all it will do is cause you to break out in sweat and turn it down a click or two.

I know it won't help those who sleep in recliners, but if you sleep in bed, I really recommend you try one.

The ones for king and queen size beds and maybe even full size come with dual controls so your spouse can use it if wanted or turn it off.

charry's picture
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Title: Member
Joined: 09/06/2008 - 12:39am
Hi Dmoonchil

I'm sorry to see you have a burn. I had the same marks and it was the Massage Therapist notice the red marks from the hot water bottle. I bought the infrared platinum heating pad and you can even sleep with it on low and it won't burn you. Take care. Charry

DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN