Heat Rash - Causes

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What are the triggers or causes of heat rash for you, a relative, or friend?

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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 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, isotretinoin [Accutane] or clonidine [Catapres]).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Ross, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 24

I am a white male, 54 years old. I have a hairy body but am bald on my head. I've suffered with a heat rash for five months. I'm now on my fourth course of a cortisone cream. It helps while using the cream, but afterwards I'm back to square one. I wake up at night scratching myself to ribbons. I hate it. Any further advice will be appreciated.

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