Heat rash (also known as prickly heat or miliaria rubra) often arises during the hot, sweaty months of the year. Babies and children are affected more often than adults. It results from a blockage of the sweat glands in the skin. We often see children with heat rash on their return from vacation in a hot and/or humid environment. The combination of heat, sweat, bacteria, and dead skin cells can all play a role in blockage of the sweat glands, and this leads to local redness, inflammation, and irritation.
HOW TO TELL IF IT IS HEAT RASH:
- Small, red spots resembling tiny blisters may occur over any part of the body. The blistery rash from prickly heat occurs More often on areas that are covered by clothes, such as shoulders, back, torso, buttocks, and thighs.
- The child complains of an itchy or prickly sensation.
- There may be areas of generalized skin redness along with the tiny blister-like red spots over the area of skin affected by heat rash.
WHAT TO DO IF IT IS HEAT RASH:
- If you notice your child beginning to have what resembles heat rash, avoiding excessive heat and humidity will prevent excessive sweating and may prevent the rash from getting worse.
- Dress your child in loose-fitting cotton clothing. Just like diaper rash, the combination of sweat, moisture, and a tight-fitting bathing suit is a setup for the development of heat rash.
- Soothing medications, such as calamine lotion, can help the symptoms.
- If there is an area with severe heat rash, a few days of an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help the itching.
DR. SEARS TIP: AIR THE RASH
Try to keep the area as dry as possible. Apply up excessive moisture and helps prevents the rash from getting worse.
The good news is that in almost every case heat rash goes away within about a week. Occasionally, if the child remains in hot and humid environments for long periods of’ it can last longer. Consult your pediatrician the rash seems to be getting worse rather than improving.