Heat rash is a skin condition also known as prickly heat; it looks like little red or pinkish bumps with blisters filled with clear fluid. This condition usually do not need any treatment as the skin will return to normal in due course. But there are times when the heat rash can become infected, so it will need to be treated properly.
Causes of Heat Rash
It is a common misconception that prickly heat can only occur during the summer, but the truth is, this itchy skin problem can happen any time that the skin overheats. This can happen when using hot water when taking a bath or when sweating too much during exercise.
As the skin overheats, the sweat glands work overtime to keep the skin cool. The excess sweat soaks the skin’s surface and this can lead to blocked sweat ducts. The blocked glands will swell into bumps or blisters; we then call this heat rash.
Types of Heat Rash
Heat rash is medically known as miliaria and there are three types of heat rash:
- Miliaria crystalline – caused by the blockage of sweat ducts in the top layer of the skin; the skin rash will appear like small blisters with clear fluid.
- Miliaria rubra – this is the most common, itchy and bumpy type of prickly heat rash and it is caused by the blockage of sweat glands in the deeper part of the skin.
- Miliaria profunda – this is a much less common type of heat rash; the sweat leaks into the deep layers of the skin, which causes bumps that are not itchy.
Heat Rash Treatment
Although heat rash is not as dangerous as many other types of skin problem, it can be quite uncomfortable, especially for children. Most of the time it does just go away without any topical application.
There are prickly heat powders available now at local drug stores; this type of powder can sooth the skin and prevent further sweating that can irritate the rash.
Some people use creams for sunburn in relieving itchiness for heat rash; this may be alright for some but may cause more irritation to others.
Taking powder baths can be relieving too. Just add a few tablespoons of either baking soda or ground oatmeal to your bath water and stir until the powder is completely dissolved. Soak in the tub and feel the refreshing benefits and the healing properties of baking soda or oatmeal.
Hydrocortisone cream is very much recommended for both children and adults alike. 1 % hydrocortisone cream can combat the itch. Just apply a thin layer over the affected areas two or three times a day to relieve the itch and to dry out the rash.