Heat Rash - Describe Your Experience

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What is heat rash?

The skin's job is to protect the inside of the body from the outside world. It acts as a preventive barrier against intruders such as pathogens that cause infection, chemicals, or ultraviolet light from invading or damaging the body. It also plays an important role in the body's temperature control. One way that the body cools itself is by sweating, and allowing that sweat or perspiration to evaporate. Sweat is manufactured in sweat glands that line the entire body (except for a few small spots like fingernails, toenails, and the ear canal).

Sweat glands are located in the dermis or deep layer of the skin, and are regulated by the temperature control centers in the brain. Sweat from the gland gets to the surface of the skin by a duct.

A heat rash occurs when sweat ducts become clogged and the sweat can't get to the surface of the skin. Instead, it becomes trapped beneath the skin's surface causing a mild inflammation or rash.

Heat rash is also called prickly heat or miliaria.

Return to Heat Rash

See what others are saying

Comment from: Don't Sweat It, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I have been having the problem of developing heat rashes since my early teens. The rash will appear unexpected. I feel hot. My face and the affected part of my body feels as if it is giving off heat. The itching then begins as the rash starts. The itching is intense and very rapid. The rash develops very rapid. The rash is very visible and I am an African-American. The duration in not long, mostly less than 15 minutes. It is important I try to stay calm. If I am not calm (it is a stressful time, I am self-conscious) this will increase the duration. The end result is I am slow and deliberate about my physical activities. I swim some and use yoga for weight management. My fear is this problem will have greater influence on health concerns as I age. Stay cool.

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Comment from: mako, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 17

I had a bad heat rash at Hawaii. Nothing seemed to work, but I started using the Hibiclens (OTC) skin cleanser to wash the affected area. It stopped itchiness, but I had problem getting rid of redness of rash so I used a very small amount of Sarna (OTC). The rash was almost all gone, after a week or so.

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