What Are the Basics of Heat Rash?

How to define heat rash?

Heat rash is a common condition in which areas of skin feel prickly or sting due to overheating. It looks like tiny bumps surrounded by red skin.

Heat rash usually happens on clothed parts of the body, like back, abdomen, neck, groin, upper chest and so on, and it mostly happens in hot, humid conditions.

What causes heat rash?

The clog of some of your sweat ducts may trigger heat rash, which means perspiration gets trapped beneath the skin instead of evaporating, thus causing inflammation and rash.

Several factors do play a role in causing heat rash, which include:

  • Tropical climates
  • Overheating: Dress too warmly or sleep under an electric blanket can lead to heat rash.
  • Physical activity: Intense exercises or any activities that cause you to sweat heavily can trigger heat rash.
  • Immature sweat ducts: For example, newborn’s sweat ducts aren’t fully developed, thus rupturing more easily and trapping perspiration beneath the skin.
  • Prolonged bed rest

What are the symptoms of heat rash?

Symptoms and signs of heat rash vary from type to type. There are mainly four types of heat rash: miliaria crystallina, miliaria rubra, miliaria pustulosa, and miliaria profunda.

  • For miliaria crystallina, which is the mildest form of heat rash and affects the sweat ducts in the top layer of skin. It presents as clear, fluid-filled blisters and bumps or papules that break easily.
  • For miliaria rubra that occurs deeper in the skin, it presents as red bumps and itching or prickling in the affected areas.
  • For miliaria pustulosa, it presents as fluid-containing vesicles.
  • For miliaria profunda, which is a less common form of heat rash and affects the dermis. It presents as firm, flesh-colored lesions that resemble goose bumps.

How to treat heat rash?

In most cases, heat rash will clear up on its own in a few days, so:

  • Stay in air-conditioned rooms or rooms with fan
  • Take a cool shower
  • Don’t use oil-based products

If heat rashes don’t go away within a few days, turn to medications or ointments for help. Ointments used to relieve discomfort and prevent complications include calamine lotion, anhydrous lanolin, topical steroids and so on.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.