What is heat rash?
Heat rash is a skin irritation that stings and makes your skin red. It is also called prickly heat. If you have heat rash, your skin may feel itchy. Small bumps may form, and you may feel some “prickly,” tingling pain.
Heat rash occurs most often in hot, humid weather. Anyone can get heat rash. It is most common in infants and young children.
Symptoms of heat rash
Heat rash usually looks like a cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is most likely to appear in places where skin touches skin, including:
- underneath the breasts
- in the creases of the elbows
What causes heat rash?
Heat rash happens when you sweat too much. The sweat gets trapped under your skin and blocks your sweat glands. If your pores cannot clear out the sweat, you may get a rash.
Heat rash often happens when it is hot and humid outside. Having a high body temperature, being overdressed, or being in a hot environment can also cause it. Babies who are bundled in too much clothing are most likely to get heat rash. People who are not used to hot weather may also get it more easily.
Heat rash treatment
The most effective treatment for heat rash is to keep your skin cool and dry.
- Cool down. Avoid hot and humid places. If possible, stay in air-conditioned areas, or use fans to circulate the air. Use cool compresses to bring down the temperature of the affected skin.
- Dry off. Keep the irritated skin dry. Use a fan to dry the skin off faster and to reduce sweating.
- Reduce friction. Wear loose clothes to prevent irritation caused by clothing that rubs against the skin.
If your rash is severe, your doctor may prescribe a lotion to help relieve your pain or discomfort. Avoid using baby powders, ointments and creams at home. They can block pores even more.