Heat rashes will usually clear up on their own without treatment, but home remedies and medications can ease symptoms:
- Apply ice to the area
- Keep the skin dry and clean
- Apply calamine or calendula lotion (over-the-counter anti-itch cream)
- Take antihistamine oral medicines (diphenhydramine, cetirizine)
- Use a low-strength hydrocortisone cream (not suitable for children under 10 or pregnant women)
- Take antibiotics if prescribed by your doctor for infection
Other tips for dealing with heat rashes include:
- Avoiding heat and humidity
- Wearing loose cotton clothing and avoiding irritating fabrics
- Using lightweight bedding
- Avoiding scratching (tap or pat instead to relieve itching)
- Avoiding scented products, such as perfumed shower gels or creams
- Taking a lukewarm oatmeal bath or Epsom salt bath
- Changing diapers frequently (for babies)
What causes heat rashes?
Heat rashes are usually caused by excessive sweating and often appear as small, red bumps on the skin that may itch or feel prickly.
Sweat glands beneath your skin produce sweat to cool down your body and prevent it from overheating. When your sweat glands get blocked, trapped sweat can lead to heat rashes.
Babies are more prone to developing heat rashes than adults because their sweat glands are not as developed.
How to prevent heat rashes
You can prevent heat rashes with simple steps such as:
When to see a doctor heat rashes
Heat rashes usually resolve on their own with home remedies. However, contact your doctor if you notice symptoms such as:
- Rash that does not go away after 3-4 days
- Pain, redness, warmth, or swelling around the rash
- Fever or chills
- Oozing pus
- Blisters or scabs
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin
- Shortness of breath
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American Academy of Family Physicians. Heat Rash. https://familydoctor.org/condition/heat-rash/
Cleveland Clinic. How To Cool Down Your Child’s Heat Rash. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/child-heat-rash-cool-heres/
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