Touchpad burn – update

About a month ago I mentioned that I’d got a sore finger from using the touchpad on my MSI Wind. And I still have. I thought it might be something electrical – it sort of feels as if my finger is being repeatedly microwaved, albeit at very low power. But over time it builds up and starts to really hurt.

I still haven’t had a chance to try touchpads on other laptops – I’ve been way too busy. But no one else has reported this kind of problem. Anyway it’s probably best if I don’t test other laptops until my finger has fully recovered.

I’ve just had a close-up look at my finger and it seems to have a sort of blister on the tip of it. Possibly from friction – i.e. overuse or pressing too hard, or possibly from a burn. Either way, I’m going to have to stop using the touchpad.

But what to use instead? A mouse is no good, because I use the MSI Wind in bed, armchairs, sofa, car, etc and there’s nowhere flat to rest the mouse. So I’ve just ordered a trackball instead – a Logitech Trackman. In case you don’t know, it’s much like a mouse except that the ball is on the top instead of the bottom. The mouse part stays still and you push the ball around with your thumb. It’s perfect for me because you can use it anywhere. And I’ve heard that once you’ve got used to using a trackball you’ll never go back to a mouse. I’ll let you know how you get on.

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers, www.ideas4writers.co.uk

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27 Responses to “Touchpad burn – update”

  1. jass Says:

    I have a Dell… it burns!!!

    T-T

    It really really hurts I don’t want a mouse cause I can put it anywhere!

    Hope you’re better

  2. gregger Says:

    Yes! My MSI Wind’s touchpad makes my fingers very sore for no apparent reason.

    I did the $8 touchpad replacement with the Synaptics touchpad from the Eee PC partially because the Syntellic one sucks and also to see if my finger would stop burning. Nope. It doesn’t replace that surface on the outside.

    I’m still looking for an answer….

  3. Richard Says:

    Same here, very painful on a MacBook Pro.

  4. Bulbulbul Says:

    Indeed, I suffer the same on an Asus’s EEE. But it is correlated with the temperature of the notebook, I guess. When it is being run for some hours being closed, then the touchpad hurts. But if the PC has just been started, it is cold and using it feels allright.

    As for the solution, I should just learn keyboard shortcuts. :) And artists should use tablets.

  5. McrRed Says:

    Yeah, same here on a Acer lappy…burns once the laptop warms up then sensitivity lasts for days.

    No solutions then other than to stop using the touchpad? :-(

  6. Dave Haslett Says:

    Yes, there are 2 solutions: use a mouse, or do what I do and use a Logitech Trackman – sort of an upside down mouse where the mouse stays still and you push the ball around with your thumb. You can use it pretty much anywhere. I’ve been using mine for over 18 months now, and I’m very happy with it. It’s not quite as fast as using a mouse, but it gets the job done.

    But my pointing finger still suffers from sensitivity from using it on the touchpad all those months ago. I assumed (wrongly) that it would return to normal after a while, but it never quite did. It’s not painful, but there’s a very slight discomfort whenever I touch anything, whether typing, clicking mouse buttons, and so on. I guess it’s permanent nerve damage, and I’ll just have to live with it.

    I certainly won’t ever be using a touchpad again.

  7. Fadetogrey Says:

    I had a similar problem using a Toshiba Satellite touchpad. The pain started shortly after I did (1-) Increase memory 4X in the computer (2-) Changed my AC power adaptor for a cheaper model. There where hypothesis found on other sites which stated that the burning might be due to nickel contamination from the pad, which I don’t find plausible at all. The finish of the touchpad, even if it wears off, should not cause damage either since it’s less rough. I thought the cheap AC which came without a ground plug might be a cause, but it doesn’t seem to be the culprit. I have tried two those two changes to my settings and it seems to have solved my problem, so I think my particular problem was related to heat (surface temperature) of touchpad, even if the temperature was not very high, over time, a slight burn did result which sometimes lasted for days. Ok, so here what I did change: the Power Management (win XP), I chose the “LAPTOP” setting instead of “HOME/OFFICE” setting. That setting has much more importance than I thought it did… Everything to do with energy usage / heat managements etc… I also did the following, lower the energy level of my wireless card located under thetouchpad. Since my router is quite close to my machine, I was able to choose every minimum setting without problem. The result in terms of heat reduction was spectacular and visible within an hour. The pain in my finger never returned. Before that, it was there every night. I am not a computer expert but this worked for me and thought it would help other to share it. For details on how to set the wireless card, there are in depth tutorials elsewhere on the net. You must know what you are doing because some settings can ruin your card.

  8. It Burns! Says:

    I found a solution…I cover my finger with a scarf. It works!

  9. Andy Says:

    Just another case but here it goes;

    same case with a dell xps, no problem at all with the laptop itself but the same symptons, thought it would get better after several weeks but no it resents everytime i use a touchpad, more if its hot, ill try the Logitech Trackman Wheel see how it works, thanks.

  10. McAllister Says:

    Toshiba Satellite. I can’t believe they put the wireless under the mouse pad. Low level radio waves are harmless at a very short distance, but point blank they can cause heat effects. The body can stand cold, but it only takes a few degrees of heat to start killing cells. My guess is that the heat of the unit mixed with the heat effects of the radio waves is just enough to start burning the fingers. The body actually modifies itself based on injuries. With repeated burning, the nerves in the fingers become over sensitive to monitor the problem. Don’t sit a “laptop” on your lap either. I don’t want to go into detail, but I spent a lot of time at the doctors before I realized that the “laptop” was damaging my urinary track. Over time, it could have caused cancer. When your cells are being damaged more then the body’s ability to fight off the cancerous cell mutation you will get clinical caner. It’s like cordless phones. Science admits the radiation causes the brain cells to heat up. 98.6 is normal, 101 is a fever, and neurons start dying. The only solution is to not allow these devices to be more les then 6 inches from your body. That is my opinion on it. Thanks for posting everyone. I’m hooking up the optical mouse. There really should be some kind of public warning about the dangers of these things. One day, this will be a syndrome, and a lucrative law suit.

  11. tat Says:

    I’ve had this problem with every laptop I’ve ever used.

    Just so you know, portable mice do not have to be used on flat surfaces. I regularly sit in bed and use my mouse on my leg or on the sheets. It works just perfectly.

  12. Bill Jennings Says:

    I have the same problem with my 15″ MacBook Pro purchased in 2010! I now use a mouse, but the damage seems permanent. Plus my fingertips become so sensitive that even typing begins to hurt. I don’t know if there is a trackball option for a mac.

    • Dave Haslett Says:

      Most trackballs should work with Macs – they plug straight into a spare USB socket, no software to load. Visit Amazon and type Logitech trackman in the search box and you’ll see a good selection – from other manufacturers too. They product description will tell you whether they’re Mac-compatible.

      Most of the current ones seem to be wireless but I prefer a wired one. The wireless ones go to sleep after a while and you get a bit of a delay when you try to use it again, which I find irritating.

      If you want a mouse that will work on any surface, try a laser one. They’re a little more expensive than regular optical mice, but definitely worth it – no skipping or glitches and very accurate.

  13. cochranplace Says:

    i m using a glove now. i have a gateway , however my index finger is completely burned and the cells, i can feel are burned competely.

    My fingers look horrible. I , going to the doctor for help.
    Then I m suing!

    • Dave Haslett Says:

      Let us know if the doctor or lawyer can do anything – there are a few of us in the same position. It’s been 3 years for me now and my index finger is as bad as ever. I don’t think it will ever go back to normal.

  14. Erich Says:

    Solved! I just stuck a piece of paper on it! I dont mind GB, MHZ, but hate when they burn!

  15. Robin Says:

    I am so glad I found this forum. I cannot use the track pad on my Dell laptop at all, so my son installed a wireless mouse for me–and my symptoms seem worse! I couldn’t sleep all last night–the tingling went from my hand up my arm and into my upper back at times. I wondered if I was getting cancer, or MS. Not a good feeling. Thought I would have to sell the laptop, but I may try the Logitech trackman. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Actually, just reading these posts (and others at a another similar site) have made me feel better. I’m at work now, on a desktop, and have no problems at all.

  16. sn0wkrash Says:

    I never had this problem – I had a MacBook Pro from early Spring 2008.

    I started a job where I used their MacBook Pro from 2011 and within a few minutes my fingertips were super sensitive and felt like they were getting pricked by thousands of tiny microneedles and the burn was out of this world after 20 minutes.

    I hoped that it was just that machine, but I just got a brand new MacBook Pro made in Summer 2012, for myself, and this thing is killing me. The touchpad is always cool to the touch – my laptop does not heat up. I alternate fingers. I can’t stand it. It’s obvious to me that the touchpad on this MacBook Pro is made of something different or something different is happening under it – something is horribly wrong. I wonder how many people this is happening to.

    I’ve cut a piece of paper exactly the size of the surface area of the touchpad and while I found relief in my fingertips, I’m experimenting with different papers to see if I can get the precision/texture I need (vellum?). I’m currently using Scotch Invisible Tape and this seems to be working well – just wish I could cut an exact size for the trackpad, as the bumps created by the edges of the strips are not ideal for smooth scrolling, etc.

    Genius Bar had no love for me.

    Anyone figures out what this is, or how to fix it, please post an update.

    Thanks

  17. Farhad Says:

    My friend and I are using computer ( Laptop & Desktop- Windows & Mac) more than 7-10 hours per day. both of us use mouse but our fingers is burning a lot, we went to see different doctors too, but they cannot understand and their solution is really stupid, they are far away from new High Tech., anyway my hand ( those parts which are touched to mouse pad) start to burn too which I am using some of mouse Pads too, some pads are fine but some are not, I bought expensive but make me feel burning and it will take hours to recover, I search a lot in different website, even medical websites, no answer for it. it makes me crazy really. if you find the answer please share it here.

    I had some problem with my eyes too which after watching monitor for long time, I was seeing blur or kind of lightly Dizziness, but I have bought computer glasses and it working well and even I dont need to use eyes drop. just share it with you. hope it works for others.
    cheers

  18. Blair Says:

    I have a Hewlet Packard laptop. My fingers get numb on the left hand when I use the touchpad with it. But, I can’t use a mouse with the right hand, due to carpel tunnel. That is the reason I started using the touchpad in the first place. This numbing only started happening after using the touchpad for a year. If I go on vacation, the numbing stops. Everytime I use the computer and touchpad, which is my only solution, the numbing starts again. If I do it a lot, the numbing goes up my arm and also to the other hand and arm at night. My blood pressure is just fine, so that is not the problem. I think I will HAVE to find an ergonomic mouse for the right hand and try that. This is something I just can’t take. I am always squeezing my hands to get the feeling back into them. I think that the electrical impulses coming into the fingertips from the touchpad are damaging to the nerves and muscles and arteries in the fingers.
    Now that I see others are having the same issue, I am certain it is the hardware. We should all contact the maker of our specific laptops and start letting them know there are health problems with this technology that needs to be addressed.

  19. Blair Says:

    Also, I have tried using the middle finger and then the 4th finger, and when they both started going numb, the pinkie finger.

  20. sa Says:

    me too! what can we do???

  21. Sherif Says:

    GLAD I finally found this blog! I thought I was alone and started thinking of all sorts of things that could have gone wrong with my fingers. I have had this electric shock sensation for a while now, and it occurs with any touch screen or trackpad – from a dell, to the new macbook air, to my iPhone and iPad… it is just devastating, and I look around me in surprise that no one seems to feel anything like I do. I believe certain people are more sensitive to electrical current going through their finger tips than others, and perhaps things like diabetes may amplify the sensitivity. Almost all cellphones and electronic products are now migrating to capacitative touch, and I feel like I’m being left behind. I went in to the Apple store the other day top buy the new iPhone 5S. As I was trying the new fingerprint recognition app to recognize my fingerprint, I felt a very uncomfortable and much more powerful electrical sensation in my finger tips that made me pull my hands away from there home button really quickly. Unfortunately, I had to leave the store without buying the new iPhone. I really do hope Apple and other electronics manufacturers acknowledge this issue and do something about it.

    • Dave Haslett Says:

      That’s a really good point. I was just thinking of buying an iPad myself – yet I’m still suffering the ill effects of “the burn” 4.5 years after the incident that caused it. For some reason I had it in my head that this only applied to touch pads, but you’re absolutely right that it probably applies to touch screens as well. Light dabbing on the screen should be ok, but repeated use, dragging, zooming into photos and maps, rotating them, etc, will undoubtedly cause the same problem – at least in those of us that are sensitive to it. I’m surprised this hasn’t received more attention in the media.

  22. GoodSamaritan Says:

    Try using a screen protector. Simplest solution would be to try using clear packaging tape / Clear Scotch Tape. Cut it to fit the touch pad and stick it just like you stick a protective cover on a smartphone, it helps.

  23. cazzz Says:

    I put moisturizer over my trackpad (packard bell) doesn’t harm the device at all, problem has gone :)

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