erythema ab igne; erythema; erythema/pathology; hot temperature/adverse effects; hyperpigmentation/etiology


Dermatology | Family Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences



Erythema ab igne is a benign skin condition caused by long-term exposure to infrared radiation and/or heat. Erythema ab igne begins as a mild erythema over the previously exposed areas and develops into an erythematous reticulated hyperpigmentation with scaling and telangiectasias.

Clinical Findings

A 55-year-old female presented to the primary care clinic with concerns due to the development of a rash on her lower back in the previous 1 to 2 weeks. She had a history of chronic back pain and was using conservative treatment for pain management, including daily use of a heating pad for 15 minutes every hour.


There is no definitive therapy for erythema ab igne. Elimination of the heat source may reverse the erythema and hyperpigmentation.


The patient was counseled regarding the importance of limiting and/or discontinuing the use of the heating pad to facilitate resolution of the rash. The patient did not return to the clinic and resolution of the rash was not confirmed.