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Heat Rash

Introduction

Heat rash also called prickly heat or miliaria is a common condition in which areas of the skin itch intensely and often feels prickly or stinging, due to overheating.

Heat rash occurs in hot, humid conditions more often if you are overdressed. It’s most common in infants. However active people, newborns in incubators and bedridden patients with fever are also more likely to get heat rash.

Signs & Symptoms

Heat rash looks like tiny bumps surrounded by a zone of red skin. It usually occurs on clothed parts of the body, such as the back, abdomen, neck, upper chest, groin or armpits and goes away within a few days. Among the common symptoms are:

  • Areas of skin become red.
  • Itching – although it may be more of an intense prickling sensation.
  • Small, red spots which may look like tiny blisters. Many usually appear all over the body. They occur most where there is friction with clothes

Complications

In severe forms, heat rash can interfere with the body’s heat-regulating mechanism and cause fever, heat exhaustion and even death.

Treatment

Few medication available:

  • Calamine lotion may cool and soothe the skin.
  • Experimental application of topical antiseptics like hexachlorophene may almost completely prevent these rashes.

Prevention

  • Wear loose cotton clothing.
    • Avoid further sweating. Even if this is possible for just a few hours each day it can make a big difference. For example, staying in an air conditioned room for a few hours a day. A cool bath can be soothing to the skin and help to reduce sweating.
  • Wear loose cotton clothing.
    • Avoid further sweating. Even if this is possible for just a few hours each day it can make a big difference. For example, staying in an air conditioned room for a few hours a day. A cool bath can be soothing to the skin and help to reduce sweating.
Last reviewed : 28 April 2008
Writer : Affendi Hj Isa