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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture >> Health

Beware blisters from chemical heating pad

By Dong Zhen (Shanghai Daily)

17:11, December 29, 2011

EXPERTS are warning consumers that disposable heating pads may cause skin burns without their awareness.

The one-time chemical heating pad has become popular in recent years, especially among young women who wear light dresses or short skirts in winter to show their figures and among people with sore muscles.

The pad starts to warm up once the cover is peeled off and chemical reaction between reagents kept in separate compartments can generate heat for hours. Its hotness is mild but long-time contact with the skin may cause skin burns, as some users complained on the Internet.

Even medical professionals are among the victims. "I once attached a heating pad to the back of my coat and wore it whole day long and it caused a blister in my back," said Cherry Chen, a 28-year-old Shanghai doctor. She said she wanted to stay warm but dress smart in winter.

"I might have worn the pad too close to the skin. I didn't feel anything wrong until a blister appeared in the evening," she said.

Some skin doctors cautioned that warmth from the pads is not very high but long-time contact can cause light burns to the skin.

Experts recommend consumers to buy certified products made with mature technology that ensures even distribution of heat. Some flawed products overheat easily and cause skin burns.

The Shanghai Daily journalist found a heating pad made by a Japanese company most popular in the local market. The instruction of Nuo Bao Bao clearly states that users should not keep it pressed against the body to avoid skin burns.

A report in a Changsha City newspaper said someone used two heating pads to wrap around a raw egg and about four hours, the egg was cooked at a temperature over 70 degrees Celsius.

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