Endometriosis UK
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Does anyone get a rash from a hot water bottle????

Weird question, but does anyone else get a rash on their bellies from the use of hot water bottles/heat pads. I literally have mine permanently attached to me as its the only thing that slightly helps. But in the last 8 months or so I have noticed I have got a blotchy rash there. It doesn't seem to go away, looks horrible:( The Doc saw it and there is an actual name for it (cant remember what it is!!!), but she also said sometimes it can be permanent.....eeeeeeek....... its the only thing that helps!!!!

11 Replies

Yes I used to use a hot water bottle all the time, I had it on my lower back for the pain, I had burn marks on my back as well, doc recommended heat pads instead.

But I was also told that the marks would b permanent, but mine have gone, haven't used a hot water bottle on my back since my op.


Thats good that yours have gone, fingers crossed mine will go soon too. So are heat pads better? I use them when im at work, but they cost so much when you use them all the time. Thank you for your reply, hope your pain is ok x x x


I have that horrible blotchy rash too, I had no idea that it might be permanent but as the HWB and heat patches are the only thing that helps I suppose its another crappy thing we have to put up with, as if constant pain wasn't enough!!!


urgh I know, such a funny looking rash. But heat is the only thing that slightly helps me too. Its so rubbish, but hopefully the rash will go away. I guess the rash is better than being in pain! Its nice to know that its not just me that gets this. I hope your pain is ok, thank you for your reply x x x


Ladies if you have already developped a rash you need to STOP using heat at that high temperature. The rash is called Erythema Ab Igne.

It can be the early stage leading to Skin Cancer.

Basically the heat you have been using is too high - you have cooked the veins in the tummy skin till they burst.

You can still use hotties and hot water bottles, but not fresh from the kettle or microwave. They must be much cooler than you have been using.

This skin condition takes YEARS to clear up - and you must be really careful now you have it - not to make it any worse.

You are not alone in giving yourself this skin condition we have discussed it a number of times on this forum - just use the search box and type in 'Ab Igne'.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eryth... is the very imformative wikipedia page for EAI and I strongly suggest you treat this very seriously and take steps to be a lot more careful from now on.

Yes I know, a lovely hot hottie is a great pain reliever - but make sure it is wrapped in layers of towels or if water hottie- you dilute with plenty of cold water too.

Boiled Kettles switch off at 99 degrees. That is far too high for repeated use on the skin.

If the skin is already got to the sore rash stage or any of the patched of EAI have opened - please see your GP and explain you have Erythema Ab Igne from hotties. Just like a mole that starts to change shape or colour or texture is a warning sign for skin cancer so is EAI. It needs monitoring when the skin opens or gets itchy or changes beyond the mottled stages.

I had it on my legs (just one side of both legs) when I was a youngster living in a cold house. I would come home from school and sit far too close to a fire place just to keep warm. Gave myself this condition on my legs and it took several years to disappear.

It is time to look at alternative pain relief methods : Tens machines, pain killer tablets, self hypnosis techniques and so on. You can still use warm hot water bottles (but while they are much safer at cooler temperatures they will of course be less effective as pain distractors.)



oh my god I had know idea about all this. This has really scared me. The stupid doctors have all commented on it but not one of them told me it was actually dangerous and about the permanent damage it can do

Thank you so much for being so helpful Impatient:) You are better than the doctors!! Should I wait for the rash to go down before I start doing hot water bottles at a lower heat? Really dont want this rash forever, but dont want the pain either!!! Will try the tens machine too, a couple of people have spoke about this

Thank you again x x x


Snow - it's fine to use warm HWB now - or hotties wrapped in extra layers of towels or blankets so there is not such a direct hit of heat on to the skin. Or just leave them out for 10 -20 minutes or so extra to cool down before snuggling them.

Believe me I know how tempting it is to have the soothing relief of hot water bottles - I love them too, but they must be used sensibly - especially if a rash has already appeared. If you waited for the rash to disappear - it could be a very long wait. No point in that - just be cautious about temperatures and remember try not to cook yourself.

There are deep heat creams used for muscle strains that might be worth trying too instead of HWB.


Well that's scared me half to death!! I use a hot water bottle on my back, didn't even know I got a rash from it untill I went to the doctors one day after using one and my dr asked me what the rash was on my back I didn't know but said I had been using a hotty, she said it must have been that and didn't have any concerns.


It's not generally a problem unless / until it turns icky and the skin cracks open anywhere...much like mole. Just the rash stage is a bit unsightly and a warning not to over do things, but apart from that just be careful in the future. I don't think GP's get too concerned unless it has turned a bit fierce in places.

The trouble is with long term painful illnesses like endo - we are more likely to be using heat pads and hotties and HWB to excess, over extended periods of time..not just the winter season to heat the bed up a bit, or sooth an aching sports injury every now and then.

So knowing what it can lead to is certainly worth bearing in mind, and taking steps to avoid trouble ahead.


My dermatologist says it is called Livedo Reticularis And to stop using hot water bottle there immediately. My rash is between my legs from putting it there


Might be best to check this cancer business with your doctor first. Don't be scared to death as fear and worry only makes everything worse. I've also ad this hot water bottle thing and with tens machine. Be positive and just make sure of facts. Sending love. X


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