HEAT RASH

Heat rash is most common in babies, but it may affect adults in hot and humid climates. It develops when the sweat ducts become blocked and swell and often leads to a red or pink rash, discomfort, and itching found on body areas covered by clothing.

Generally, heat rash looks like dots or tiny pimples on the head, neck, and shoulders. The rash areas can get irritated by clothing or scratching, and, in rare cases, a secondary skin infection may develop.

DIAGNOSIS

Heat rash can usually be identified by its appearance and does not usually require medical attention. Contact your doctor right away if it doesn’t go away after 3 or 4 days, or if it worsens, or a fever develops.

When you or your child has a rash, be sure to watch for signs of infection, including:

  • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected area.
  • Red streaks extending from the affected area.
  • Drainage of pus from the area.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin.
  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or chills with no other known cause.
  • If any of these symptoms develop, contact your doctor immediately.

 

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

Most prickly heat rashes heal on their own. The following steps can help relieve symptoms:

  • Start by removing or loosening your baby’s clothing and move him or her to a cool, shady spot.
  • Let the skin air-dry instead of using towels.
  • Avoid ointments or other lotions, because they can irritate the skin.

The following tips can help prevent future episodes of the rash:

  • Dress your child in as few clothes as possible during hot weather.
  • Keep the skin cool and dry.
  • Keep the sleeping area cool.
  • After the rash is gone, gradually expose your child to warmer temperatures so that his or her skin can acclimate.

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