Heat Rash

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Quick GuideHeat Rash Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Heat Rash Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

What are the causes of heat rash?

It is uncertain why some people get heat rashes and others don't.

The sweat gland ducts can become blocked if excessive sweating occurs, and that sweat is not allowed to evaporate from a specific area. Some examples of how blockage may occur include the following:

  • Creases in the skin like the neck, armpit, or groin have skin touching adjacent skin, which makes it difficult for air to circulate, and prevents sweat evaporation.
  • Tight clothing that prevents sweat evaporation.
  • Bundling up in heavy clothing or sheets. This may occur when a person tries to keep warm in wintertime or when chilled because of an illness with fever.
  • Heavy creams or lotions can clog sweat ducts.

Babies have immature sweat glands that aren't able to efficiently remove the sweat they produce. They can develop heat rash if they are exposed to warm weather, are overdressed, excessively bundled, or have a fever.

Heat rash may occur as a side effect of some medications (for example clonidine [Catapres]). Continue Reading

Reviewed on 11/3/2015
References
Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology

REFERENCES:

Rakel R. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th edition. Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier. 2011

WebMD.com. Heat Rash Overview.

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