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Heat Rash | WiSE Specialist Emergency Clinic Blog
Heat Rash

Heat Rash

Image via Mayo Clinic

With the weather heating up over the coming days and weeks, heat rash becomes a common occurrence particularly in babies, children and the elderly.

What is Heat Rash?

A heat rash normally occurs in hot and humid weather. The humidity along with the heat makes the body sweat profusely in order to regulate the body temperature. When sweat increases above normal activity the evaporation from the skin is delayed, a heat rash may develop due to the skin being irritated by blocked sweat ducts trapping the sweat under the skin.

What Does Heat Rash Look Like?

Heat Rash appearance is commonly described as being a clusters of small pimple like blisters or bumps that appear red and can cause skin irritation. Heat rash is commonly found in areas with folds of the skin such as the neck, groin, elbows and knees or where clothing hugs tightly like the back, stomach or bottom. It may also occur on the scalp if an individual is wearing a hat while perspiring.

Symptoms of Heat Rash

  • Raised pimple like bumps on the kin
  • Red in colour
  • Mild swelling
  • Higher than normal perspiration
  • Itching or irritation of the skin

Causes of Heat Rash

  • Sweat glands get blocked
  • High environmental temperatures and humidity
  • Excessive sweating from heat or exercise

Treatment of Heat Rash

  • Cool bath or shower
  • Use of lotion’s such as calamine or aloe vera based lotion.
  • For babies powder may be used to help dry the skin

Diagnosing Heat Rash

Often not dangerous, heat rash can often be mistaken for other more dangerous infections such as chickenpox, measles or bacterial infection impetigo.
If symptoms of heat rash last longer than a day or two it’s are best to seek medical advice.

Prevention of Heat Rash

  • Avoid activities that cause excessive sweating at peak temperature times of the day
  • Use of fans or air conditioners to cool room temperatures on hot days
  • Wear light and breathable clothing
  • Avoid exposure to to hot and humid weather for long periods of time
  • Gently exfoliate dead skin cells that may cause the sweat glands to clog
  • Frequent cool showers or baths in the warmer months