How to get rid of heat rash

How to get rid of heat rash

The following checklist can help you recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses:

  • Heat rash
  • Heat cramps
  • Heat syncope: Someone who experiences heat syncope (fainting) will experience the sudden onset of dizziness or fainting after exposure to high temperatures, particularly after exercising in the heat.
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke

How to get rid of heat rash

What is heat rash?

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How to get rid of 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 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 cannot 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.

How to get rid of heat rash

What are the causes of heat rash?

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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]).

How to get rid of heat rash

What are the symptoms of heat rash in children and adults?

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The common symptoms of heat rash are red bumps on the skin, and an itchy or prickly feeling to the skin. These are due to inflammation of the superficial layers of the skin (the epidermis) and the prickly sensation is similar to the feeling of mild sunburn.

The symptoms of heat rash are the same in infants and adults; however, since an infant cannot complain about the rash sensation, he or she may be fussy.

Who is at risk for heat rash?

Newborns, infants, the elderly, and obese individuals with large areas with skin-on-skin contact areas (for example, a large overlapping area of abdominal fat) are at risk for developing heat rash. They all are especially at risk if they are immobile for long periods and parts of the skin aren't exposed to circulating air, which results in the inability of the sweat ducts to "breathe" (evaporative cooling).

Heat rashes are more common in places with hot, humid, climates because people sweat more.

Intense exercise associated with lots of sweating may cause a heat rash, especially if the clothing worn does not allow adequate air circulation.

How to get rid of heat rash


How to get rid of heat rash

What does heat rash look like?

The appearance of the heat rash depends upon where the excess sweat is deposited in the skin.

Tiny blisters that look like small beads of sweat are seen if the sweat is blocked at the most superficial layers of the skin where the sweat duct opens on the skin surface. Called miliaria crystallina, it has no symptoms other than these "sweat bubbles."

Classic heat rash or miliaria rubra occurs if the sweat causes inflammation in the deeper layers of the epidermis. Like any other inflammation, the area becomes red (and therefore the name rubra = red) and the blisters become slightly larger. Because the sweat ducts are blocked and don't deliver sweat to the skin's surface, the area involved is dry and can be irritated, itchy, and sore. This rash is also called prickly heat.

Less commonly, after repeated episodes of prickly heat, the heat rash may inflame the deeper layer of the skin called the dermis, and cause miliaria profunda. This rash is made up of larger, harder bumps that are more skin-colored. The rash begins almost immediately after exercise, and again no sweat can be found on the affected areas. Rarely, this type of heat rash may be potentially dangerous if enough skin is involved, since the lack of sweating can lead to heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.

How to get rid of heat rash

After a hot day in the sun, have you ever found water bubbles or red bumps on your skin? If so, you’ve likely had a heat rash.

Heat rash is a fairly common ailment, especially for the elderly and infants. You can usually get rid of it within hours or days, and it rarely requires a visit to the doctor.

Here’s how to recognize the symptoms of heat rash and treat it effectively at home.

What is heat rash?

Heat rash, also called prickly heat or miliaria, occurs when sweat gets trapped and can’t leave your skin, typically during periods of hot or humid weather.

In most cases, heat rash is caused by clogged sweat ducts, which trap your sweat and cause irritation.

You’re most likely to find heat rash in places where you experience excessive sweating and skin-on-skin friction — like the neck, armpits, buttocks, or waistline. That’s because it can be difficult for your body to release moisture in these high-sweat areas, especially if the area is blocked by tight clothing or skin folds.

According to a 2008 article in the American Academy of Family Physicians about newborn skin, infants are especially prone to heat rash because their sweat ducts are small and their bodies are not yet adept at temperature regulation.

Elderly people are also at a higher risk of heat rash, because the supportive skin tissue that keeps the sweat ducts open tends to break down or collapse as we age.

Overall, heat rash is considered a benign condition by doctors, and associated symptoms of heat illness — like dehydration, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion — are a much bigger concern.

What does heat rash look like?

Heat rash commonly appears as red or pink bumps, and may look similar to pimples or bug bites .

Sometimes, heat rash can present as skin-colored water bubbles that break easily, or slightly larger, painful cysts.

This chart can help you identify the three different types of heat rash:

How to get rid of heat rash at home

Most cases of heat rash will resolve on their own. To soothe your irritation and get rid of heat rash quickly, here’s how you can treat it at home:

1. If you’re exposed to the sun, go inside

First, you’ll want to lower your body temperature to stop the sweating that causes clogged ducts and leads to heat rash.

If you’re outside, try to find a place in the shade. Or, if you can, go indoors where there’s air conditioning.

2. Put a cool, damp cloth over the area — and then let it dry

To bring down your body temperature and provide temporary relief, wet a small cloth with cold water and place it on the inflamed area for 20 minutes.

Then, dry the inflamed area and let it sit, exposed to cool air. If the inflamed area is in a place prone to sweat, like the armpits, you can use baby powder to soothe your skin and prevent further irritation.

3. Avoid lotions, ointments, or any other topical solutions

“These clog the skin,” says Dawn Davis, MD, the director of pediatric dermatology at Mayo Clinic Rochester.

It may feel automatic to reach for lotion to soothe your rash, but according to Davis, the best thing to do is to let your skin breathe without additives.

4. Avoid scrubbing the area

Exfoliation may cause temporary relief, but it can actually incite long-term skin damage, Davis says — especially for children and the elderly, who have more sensitive skin.

5. Change into breathable clothing

Heavy or non-breathable clothing, like cotton, also traps your sweat. Consider wearing clothing made of polyester blends instead, which are highly breathable.

If you’re taking care of an infant, be sure the baby isn’t over-swaddled, or wrapped in too many layers of clothing.

This can be a problem for people in professions like firefighting and those in the military, too, especially if they travel frequently to warm places.

In a 2018 study on occupational heat rash for the Journal of Medical Case Reports, researchers found that wearing flame-resistant clothing in hot working environments led to heat rash; they recommend that workers in these environments change clothes often and make concerted efforts to stay cool and dry.

6. Know how to prevent future cases of heat rash

According to Davis, the best method of treatment is to understand what causes heat rash, and learn how to avoid it going forward.

“You can prevent and decrease the likelihood of irritation by dressing for the climate, changing positions, and not over-swaddling young kids or elderly people,” Davis says.

Davis also recommends taking care of your skin tissue by avoiding the sun, not smoking, and wearing sunscreen. This keeps the skin structure strong, which can prevent the collapsed ducts that lead to high heat rash risk.

How long does heat rash last?

For adults, heat rash usually resolves within a few hours, or in more severe cases, up to a few days or weeks.

There are a few possible timelines for recovery, depending on the severity of your rash:

1. If your heat rash appears as water bubbles on the skin, you’re likely to see a resolution within a few hours, but it may take as long as a few days.

2. If your heat rash presents as redness (and looks like a bug bite or pimples), it may take a couple of days to a few weeks to resolve because the inflammation is deeper, Davis says.

3. If you’re experiencing deep, painful nodules (which is rare), you should check in with your doctor. You may need to take anti-inflammatory medication, like Tylenol, to address the pain; these cases can take longer to resolve, often up to several weeks.

While you wait for your rash to subside, you may experience heat intolerance, or discomfort when you’re exposed to warm temperatures. You should also drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration during this time, according to the UK’s National Health Service.

When to see a doctor

You should see a medical professional if you’ve been treating your heat rash and it hasn’t improved after several weeks, or if you experience the following symptoms, which could indicate infection:

  • Pus or swollen lymph nodes
  • A fever or chills
  • Excessive pain
  • increased swelling around the rash

Insider’s Takeaway:

Most infants grow out of heat rash when their parents learn to dress them in more breathable clothing, according to Davis, or when they reach toddlerhood and their sweat ducts mature.

If your child frequently has heat rash, you should talk with your doctor further about preventive measures and how to keep them cool.

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

What is heat rash?

Heat rash — sometimes called prickly heat, sweat rash or miliaria, is a harmless but very itchy skin rash. It causes small red spots in places where sweat collects, such as the armpits, back, under the breasts, chest, groin, elbow creases and back of the knees, and the waist.

It happens when the body sweats more than usual, and is more common during summer months or in a hot climate.

What are the symptoms of heat rash?

Heat rash causes:

  • tiny red spots or clear blisters. In babies, these are often in the skin folds, on the face or in the nappy area
  • an irritating itch and prickling sensation
  • redness and mild swelling of the affected area

Symptoms of heat rash last 2 to 3 days.

CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use our rashes and skin problems Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.

What causes heat rash?

Heat rash is caused by a blockage and inflammation of sweat ducts in heat and high humidity.

It is common in newborn babies as their sweat glands haven’t developed properly yet. It can also happen in older children.

When should I see my doctor?

If the area becomes infected, you or your child may need antibiotics. See your doctor if:

  • the blisters fill with pus
  • the area is getting red and swollen, or feels warm
  • the rash lasts more than 3 days
  • you or your child are unwell or have a fever
  • you or your child have swollen lymph nodes

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How is heat rash diagnosed?

Your doctor will diagnose heat rash by looking at the rash. They may take a swab to rule out an infection.

How is heat rash treated?

Heat rash normally goes away without treatment. However, there are medicines available from a pharmacy to ease the symptoms of itching. These include calamine lotion (which helps ease itching) and antihistamine medicines. Your pharmacist may recommend a low-strength hydrocortisone cream, which is a type of steroid cream used to treat inflammation.

Speak to your pharmacist for further advice and to make sure any medicines you take are suitable for you.

You many need antibiotics if the area becomes infected.

If you’re experiencing heat rash, here are some things that may help:

  • Cool down to avoid sweating. Try to avoid heat and humidity; stay in air conditioning or near a fan, and make sure there is good ventilation.
  • Keep the skin dry.
  • Try to wear loose cotton clothing which can help prevent you overheating and making the itch worse. Avoid fabrics which irritate your skin, like wool or scratchy fabrics.
  • A cool bath or shower may help provide short-term relief from any itching, but excessive showering or bathing should be avoided as this can reduce the natural oils that protect the skin and may make it worse.

How to treat heat rash in babies and children

If your child has heat rash, try to keep them cool and dry. Dress them in light cotton clothing and avoid too many layers when you dress them.

You can help to ease the itching with a lukewarm bath, though avoid using soap as this can make the skin irritation worse. You can also press a cool, damp cloth on the spots for relief.

You can talk to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to stop your child scratching, such as by using calamine lotion or corticosteroid cream. This will avoid the spots getting infected.

Change sweaty clothes and wet nappies regularly. Make sure you dry in their skin folds after a bath and avoid using a plastic mattress.

Ever woken up with skin that feels like it’s on fire? Chances are you’re experiencing heat rash. This standard yet infuriating condition is nothing much to worry about and usually goes away on its own. 1

Nevertheless, there are some easy steps you can take to keep down the itching and help rid your skin of heat rash faster.

First things first, what causes heat rash?

Before you learn how to treat it, it’s a good idea to know a bit about why heat rash happens. Typically, heat rash occurs when your body overheats – whether that’s due to exercise, overdressing or being in extreme temperatures – and starts to sweat excessively. 2

This extra sweat can block your sweat glands which, in turn, may cause a rash to appear on the surface of your skin. The most common symptoms are little bumps on the surface of the skin, which can quickly become itchy.

Another common name for heat rash is prickly heat – and that’s what it’ll feel like!

How to get rid of heat rash

While heat rash typically goes away on its own, you might be able to speed it along with the following tips 3 :

Cool your skin down

This is a treatment for heat rash, and you can do it in many different ways. The easiest option is to apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the affected area.

You could also try having a cold shower or bath or applying a damp cloth. It’s a good idea to not wear tight or thick clothing until your heat rash has disappeared, too.

Use a soothing lotion or cream

Applying a gentle moisturiser to the area may help soothe it. Make sure that you avoid anything which contains chemicals or perfumes as these could irritate your skin further. In more extreme cases, you might benefit from an over-the-counter calamine lotion from your nearest pharmacy. 4

Don’t itch!

As tempting as it is, you mustn’t itch your heat rash! If you need some relief from the constant urge to scratch, try tapping or patting the area gently with your palm or fingers.

How to prevent heat rash

The most straightforward treatment for something like heat rash is prevention. To avoid getting pesky prickly heat again, make sure you 5 :

  • Wear light, breathable clothing when you’re in situations where you might sweat more
  • Don’t wrap up too much in the winter. You should be comfortably warm, not stifling
  • Stay in a cold or air-conditioned room as much as possible if you’re somewhere hot
  • Make sure your bedroom is cool, and air can flow when you’re going to sleep

Babies are particularly prone to heat rash as they’re unable to regulate their body temperature in the same way as older children or adults. This makes it particularly important to limit the chances of them getting heat rash with the above advice. 6

Searching for more advice on skin health? Read our expert guide to common skin conditions and how to treat them.

Heat rash is a skin irritation that stings and makes your skin red. It is also called miliaria or prickly heat. If you have heat rash, your skin may feel itchy. Small bumps may form, and you may feel some “prickly,” tingling pain.

Heat rash occurs most often in hot, humid weather. Anyone can get heat rash. It is most common in infants and young children.

Symptoms of heat rash

Heat rash usually looks like a cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is most likely to appear in places where skin touches skin, including:

  • Neck
  • Groin
  • Underneath the breasts
  • In the creases of the elbows
  • Armpits

What causes heat rash?

Heat rash happens when you sweat too much. The sweat gets trapped under your skin and blocks your sweat glands. If your pores cannot clear out the sweat, you may get a rash.

Heat rash often happens when it is hot and humid outside. Having a high body temperature, being overdressed, or being in a hot environment can also cause it. Babies who are bundled in too much clothing are most likely to get heat rash. People who are not used to hot weather may also get it more easily.

How is heat rash diagnosed?

There are no tests for heat rash. Your doctor can diagnose it just by looking at it. But most cases don’t need to be seen by a doctor. They go away by themselves. If your heat rash doesn’t go away after 3 or 4 days, or if it seems to be getting worse, call your doctor. In some cases, heat rash may be caused by an infection.

See your doctor if your itchiness is severe or if the rash area swells or oozes pus. If you feel dizzy, nauseated, confused, or you have trouble breathing, go to the emergency room right away. These symptoms can be signs of serious heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Plus, how to prevent the symptoms of prickly heat from showing up in the first place.

How to get rid of heat rash

When the sweltering temps roll around, your body tries to stay cool by sweating. But beyond feeling uncomfortably damp and hot, that sweat can bring on some gnarly side effects if it gets bad enough. Cue the heat rash.

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by blocked sweat glands, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The true medical definition of a heat rash is a condition called miliaria, but people often use the phrase “heat rash” to refer to any rash that occurs in the summer after heat exposure, says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., a cosmetic and medical dermatologist at Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City.

These angry, painful patches of skin can show up all over your body, begging the question: How do you get rid of heat rash? Ahead, dermatologists share the home remedies you can try to treat the rash, and how to prevent it from appearing in the first place.

What does heat rash look like? What kind of symptoms does it cause?

Ife J. Rodney, M.D., founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics in Maryland, says you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Bumps
  • Redness
  • Pain from underlying pustules

The bumps from heat rash can be itchy or prickly, Dr. Goldenberg says, which is why heat rash is sometimes called “prickly heat.”

Distinguishing heat rash from other rashes is difficult, since it can look like several skin conditions that tend to flare up in the summer, like eczema or hives. However, these conditions are “usually much more itchy” than true heat rash, Dr. Goldenberg says.

“You can look for small blisters and redness on the extremities or areas that are prone to sweat,” Dr. Rodney says. However, if a rash you’ve never seen before pops up in the summer and it’s painful or uncomfortable, it’s best to see your dermatologist for a proper diagnosis.

What are the different types of heat rash?

The different types of heat rash are broken down by how deep the blocked sweat ducts are, says Dr. Rodney.

Miliaria crystalline

This is the mildest form of heat rash, and it impacts the sweat ducts in the top layer of skin. It causes clear, fluid-filled blisters and bumps that break easily. “Superficial heat rashes show up on areas where sweat is common like the head, neck, and upper torso,” Dr. Rodney says.

Miliaria rubra

This form of heat rash goes deeper into the skin and causes red bumps and itching or prickling in the affected area. “Sometimes, the red rash is accompanied by pustules,” Dr. Rodney says, pointing out that these are more common on the torso, between skin folds, or parts of the body where fabric tends to rub a lot, like the thighs.

Miliaria profunda

This is a less common form of heat rash that impacts the deeper layer of skin (called the dermis). “It happens mainly in tropical climates,” Dr. Rodney says. With miliaria profunda, sweat leaks out of the sweat gland into the skin, causing firm, skin-colored bumps on the arms, legs, and torso.

How to get rid of heat rash

Heat rash will usually go away on its own, Dr. Goldenberg says, but there are a few things you can do to get relief if you’re uncomfortable.

✔️ Get out of the heat. “Heat rashes tend to go away with a change in environment,” Dr. Rodney says. That includes removing yourself from the heat if you can and moving into an air-conditioned space.

✔️ Avoid tight clothing. “If you’re prone to heat rashes, avoid tight clothing or clothing made of fabrics like spandex, especially in the summer. Stick to breathable fabrics,” like cotton, Dr. Rodney says.

✔️ Apply a topical steroid cream. If you’re especially itchy, Dr. Goldenberg recommends applying a topical steroid cream like 1% hydrocortisone to tamp down inflammation.

✔️ Add a cold compress. If you have miliaria rubra, Dr. Rodney says that using a cold compress on your skin may provide relief.

All of this, along with doing your best to stay cool, should do the trick, Dr. Goldenberg says. However, there is a small chance that you can develop a bacterial infection from heat rash (avoid scratching!), which would lead to inflamed and itchy pustules. If that happens, call your doctor as you may need antibiotics to clear things up.

How to prevent heat rash

“With heat rashes, prevention works more than cure,” Dr. Rodney says. So how exactly can you prevent prickly heat? Limiting how much you sweat will help, the AAD says, but obviously that can be tricky in the summertime. These tip, per the AAD, can also lower your risk of getting sweaty, and thus, heat rash:

How to get rid of heat rash

The rising temperatures bring in a number of skin-related ailments that can be quite irksome. One such, fairly common, condition is prickly heat, also referred to as heat rash or sweat rash.

Clinically known as miliaria, sweat rashes can appear anywhere on your body . While it is most commonly seen as an underarm sweat rash, it may also manifest around the groin, feet, back, back of the neck, hands, chest, and abdomen. In some severe cases of prickly heat, a person may also see rashes on their face and neck. This condition affects adults and infants alike.

Common Causes for Prickly Heat

The most common cause of a heat rash is hot and humid weather that leads to excessive sweating and blocked eccrine sweat glands (major sweat glands in the human body). Once blocked, the sweat from these glands seeps out onto a person�s skin and leads to a sweat rash. Other causes include underdeveloped sweat glands – a common cause for this kind of rash in babies – and being overweight.

While prickly heat normally resolves on its own, one of the best ways to help relieve its symptoms is to cool your body down, by either staying in a cold room, taking a refreshing shower or applying a salve on the affected area.

Top 7 Home Remedies for Prickly Heat

  • Multani Mitti and Rose Water: Also known as Fuller�s Earth, multani mitti has been used as a common home remedy for a number of skin-related ailments. This is because fuller�s earth has many properties that not only soothes but also disinfects the skin. Apart from that, it also helps cool down the area and helps unclog pores, relieving the symptoms of prickly heat. Take two to three spoons of multani mitti and add some rose water to it, so as to make a paste. Apply this on the affected area and allow it to dry. Once dried, you can wash it off with some cold water. Using this remedy twice or thrice a day can help reduce the severity if you have a heat rash.
  • Sandal Wood Powder and Rose Water: This mixture is extremely soothing for the skin and is a great sweat rash treatment. Both sandalwood and rose water have soothing properties that help relieve the burning and pricking sensation of prickly heat. Apart from that, the antibacterial properties of sandalwood ward off infection in the area. All you need to do is take a spoon full of sandalwood powder and mix it with some rose water to make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area and allow it to dry. Once dry, wash off the paste with cold water. Using this remedy once every day for a week can help cure prickly heat naturally.

How to get rid of heat rash

  • Oatmeal: Another great remedy for prickly heat, oatmeal has very potent anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the discomfort associated with a sweat rash. Apart from that, it also has soothing properties that reduce the sensation of itching and irritation associated with a heat rash.

How to get rid of heat rash

  • Cornstarch: This remedy works the same way as the baking soda one. Not only does it help unclog the pores and relieve the symptoms of prickly heat, but it also helps calm irritated and inflamed skin, preventing the further spread of prickly heat. To use this remedy, take two spoons of cornstarch and add some water to it, to make a paste. Now apply this paste on the affected area and allow it to dry. Once it is dry, splash some cold water on the dried cornstarch and wash away the pack.
  • Potato: A cooled slice of potato, is also a great remedy for a heat rash. Potato has soothing properties for the skin and helps relieve the inflammation caused due to a heat rash. Cooled potato slices help cool the skin and prevent the further spread of the sweat rash. To use this remedy, take a cooled slice of potato and rub it over the affected area. Doing this two to three times a day can help reduce the symptoms of prickly heat to a great extent.

How to get rid of heat rash

Heat Rash in Babies

Babies or infants are especially prone to a heat rash or sweat rash as their sweat glands and ducts are not fully developed, making it extremely easy for them to get clogged � thereby leading to prickly heat. While you can use the same home remedies to get rid of a sweat rash in babies, it is always best to consult your pediatrician as to the best course of action.

The arrival of the warmer weather usually means barbeques in the garden and sipping ice-cold drinks under a parasol, but it’s important to not forget to protect our skin.

Taking extra precautions to look after your skin in the warmer summer months can help to prevent conditions, such as heat rash, from disrupting your outdoor activities.

What causes heat rash and how long does it last?

Your skin is your first line of defence and protects you from the outside world. It also helps regulate the temperature inside your body by producing sweat. In the warmer months of the year, your body will produce more sweat as a method of self-cooling.

    Heat rash, also known as prickly heat , is usually caused by excessive sweating. Whereby the sweat glands get blocked and the trapped sweat leads to a developing rash.

How to get rid of heat rash

What does heat rash look like?

Usually occurring on the back, neck or chest, heat rash will often look like tiny pink bumps or pinpoint-sized water blisters. There are three different types of heat rash that can all range in severity and appearance:

  • Miliaria Rubra is the most common form of heat rash for adults which usually creates a little more discomfort as it occurs deeper in the skin. This type of rash will often become red and inflamed with red bumps on the skin and an itchy prickly sensation . That is why this form of heat rash is more commonly referred to as “prickly heat”.

How to get rid of heat rash

  • Miliaria Crystallina is the most common form of heat rash for babies which forms small clear bumps on the skin that often burst. However, this form of heat rash doesn’t usually itch and shouldn’t be painful.

How can you prevent heat rashes?

How to get rid of heat rash

Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing

In warmer climates, where your skin will be more prone to sweating, it’s important to stay cool and wear loose-fitting cotton clothing . Cotton is a soft, lightweight and breathable material that allows heat to escape and keep your body temperature cool . To find out more about how to dress for hot weather, check out our blog post here .

How to get rid of heat rash

Switch up your bedding

Similarly, sleeping in a warm environment can often be quite uncomfortable. A lightweight cotton bedding will, once again, allow heat to escape easily and prevent overheating.

How to get rid of heat rash

Stay hydrated and avoid direct sunlight

Staying hydrated in a hot climate by drinking plenty of fluids will allow the body to replenish the fluids lost by excessive sweating. Additionally, avoiding direct sunlight for long periods of time and seeking out air-conditioned areas or shaded will help to regulate body temperature and not lead to heat exhaustion.

Treatment for heat rashes

To treat heat rash effectively it’s important to keep the skin cool and dress in loose, lightweight clothing that keeps moisture away from your skin.

There are some ways to get some quick relief for heat rash:

  • Keeping the skin cool with cold compresses or ice packs
  • Staying out of the sun by seeking shaded areas
  • Bathing in cold water will allow the skin to cool down, but be sure to allow your skin to air dry to avoid further irritation.

To help treat heat rash quicker you can use topical treatments in combination with previous tips. A pharmacist will be able to advise the best treatment for your heat rash depending on which type you have.

How to get rid of heat rash


The active ingredient in Eurax 10% cream, Crotamiton, relieves itching and soothes the skin when affected by skin conditions such as heat rash.

  • Eurax 10% Cream can be applied directly to the affected area 2-3 times a day for fast-acting and long-lasting relief, that lasts up to 10 hours, from the symptoms of heat rash such as itchiness.
  • When applying Eurax to the affected area, ensure any other ointment or moisturiser has been cleaned off before application and the skin is dry.
  • Eurax cream can be used in children. However, for children under 3 years of age usage should only be used under medical supervision and should not be applied more than once a day.

How to get rid of heat rash

Choosing the right clothing materials and styles during the warmer months might help you avoid those unexpected rashes and skin irritation.

Seasonal changes are often exciting with the promise of better weather unless you’re one of the millions of people who have seasonal allergi…

Itching can sometimes appear out of nowhere, leading you to wonder where this mysterious itching came from.

With warmer weather upon us, you’re probably itching to get outside. We don’t blame you. But, to prevent injury or illness, it’s important you take precautions to protect yourself and your family.

Time spent outdoors can lead to ailments like sunburn, dehydration heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and allergy exacerbations. Hot and humid weather also makes you more susceptible to heat rashes, especially if you’re playing sports or engaged in an intense physical activity that makes you sweat.

How can you be sure your rash is in fact a heat rash? And, if it is, what’s the fastest way to get rid of it? Let’s take a look.

What Does Heat Rash Look Like?

Given that your skin is the largest organ in your body, it’s not surprising that many different skin rashes exist. Heat rashes (also known as miliaria) are one of the most common types of rashes, affecting both children and adults.

How to get rid of heat rash

They form when your sweat glands become clogged and can’t expel sweat, thus trapping perspiration under your skin. Heat rashes usually appear in skin folds or areas where clothes cause friction. For children, this is often in the neck, shoulders or chest areas, whereas adults more typically develop heat rashes in the armpits, elbow creases and groin.

Regardless of the weather outside, babies, in particular, are prone to heat rashes since their sweat ducts aren’t fully developed.

How to get rid of heat rash

4 Types or Stages of Heat Rash

If you’re looking for a sure sign of how to identify a heat rash, unfortunately, there isn’t one. That’s because there are different types of heat rashes, which range in severity from superficial blisters to deep, red lesions.

To determine what type of rash you might have, be on the look out for the following heat rash signs and symptoms.

  1. Miliaria crystallina is the mildest form of heat rash and affects the sweat ducts on the epidermis, or top layer of skin. If you have miliaria crystallina, you’ll notice small clear or white bumps filled with fluid that can easily break. Despite popular belief, this type of heat rash doesn’t itch and shouldn’t cause discomfort. It’s also most common in babies.
  2. (or “prickly heat” rash) is known to be more painful than miliaria crystallina because it occurs deeper within the epidermis. This type of heat rash causes red bumps, an itchy or prickly sensation and a decreased amount of sweat in the affected area. It can also result in inflammation and soreness of the skin since the body can’t release sweat through the skin’s surface. It’s more common in adults than babies and children.
  3. Miliaria pustulosa is similar to miliaria rubra, except the red bumps associated with the heat rash fill with pus, forming lesions and causing them to become inflamed and pustular, or pus-filled.
  4. is the least common form of heat rash and affects the dermis, or a deeper layer of skin below the epidermis. Sweat from your sweat glands is retained in your skin, forming larger, flesh-colored bumps. This type of heat rash usually occurs in adults after a long period of physical activity and can reoccur or become chronic.

What Heat Rash Remedies Are Helpful?

The best way to get rid of a heat rash quickly is to ensure the affected area is kept cool and dry. Avoiding exposure to the heat that caused your rash can expedite healing as well.

It is important to note that taking a warm or hot shower will make the symptoms worse!

If you’re experiencing prickliness or itching, heat rash creams like calamine lotion can help relieve discomfort and prevent complications.

Other homeopathic substances, including colloidal oatmeal, sandalwood powder, baking soda, aloe vera, and epsom salt, can also soothe itchiness.

For more serious instances of inflammation, your healthcare provider might prescribe a topical steroid for heat rash treatment.

To prevent a heat rash from occurring in the first place, stick to more breathable clothing made from cotton and moisture-wicking fabrics. When the weather is hot and humid, stay in the shade or air conditioning and keep your sleeping area cool and well ventilated. Plus, avoid ointments and lotions that can clog your pores.

When to See a Medical Professional

In most cases, heat rashes will clear up on their own within a few days. However, you should see your doctor if your rash or your child’s rash gets worse, or you notice signs of infection. This can include:

  • Increased swelling, pain, redness, or warmth around the affected area
  • Golden yellow crust formation or pus draining from lesions
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin
  • Fever or chills

Not sure if your skin irritation is a heat rash or something more serious? Save your spot online or just walk into the GoHealth Urgent Care center that’s most convenient for you. Use the dropdown menu below to locate a center nearby.

How to get rid of heat rash

Heat rash is a common skin problem in the summer, when sweat gets trapped underneath your skin. Heat rash on adults strikes in areas where your skin folds over itself, such as the armpits, groin and beneath the breasts.

“Sweat is the way the body cools itself, but at the same time too much sweating or sweat trapped below the skin can be irritating,” Anne Chapas, MD, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, told TODAY.

Heat rashes on babies can develop when they are overly swaddled, since their immature sweat glands aren’t fully formed, so moisture can’t evaporate as well as it can in adults.


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Symptoms of heat rash

What does heat rash look like? Most of the time, when you get a heat rash you’ll have small, itchy red bumps and blotches. Sometimes, you can get fluid-filled sacs. Heat rash usually comes on quickly —within hours after you get hot and sweaty.

It’s important not to scratch your heat rash, since scratching can damage the skin and introduce bacteria that can cause an infection.


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Causes of heat rash

You can develop a heat rash when your sweat glands get blocked. “When there’s too much heat and humidity the sweat glands can clog up,” Danny Del Campo, MD, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and a board-certified dermatologist based in Chicago, told TODAY. “You’re sweating so much, and your skin can’t breathe.” Your body tries to pump out more sweat, but it can’t, so you develop an inflammatory state with redness and sometimes goosebumps and blisters.

“We’re all sweating, especially if we’re working out. It’s easy to get heat rash in places where skin touches other skin,” Anthony Rossi, MD, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, told TODAY.


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Preventing heat rash

You’re less likely to develop a heat rash if you stay cool and dry. If you’re exercising, wear clothing that wicks away sweat so you’re not trapping sweat against your skin. Cotton doesn’t irritate your skin, but it doesn’t wick away moisture either. “Newer sports fabrics do a good job of wicking moisture away, but they are very compressing against skin. If you leave them on too long you can break out in a heat rash,” Dr. Rossi said.

Keeping your skin cool and dry is key. “The most important thing is to change out of those sweaty clothes quickly,” Dr. Chapas said. “Take a cool shower to cool down your body and change into a clean shirt.”

You can use antifungal powders, especially in your groin folds and armpits, to help absorb moisture.


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Diagnosing and treating heat rash

If you’ve been sweating a lot and you develop a rash in your skin folds soon after, it’s likely heat rash.

For heat rash treatment, try to stay in a well-ventilated, air-conditioned place. Cool compresses and cool or lukewarm showers can help. To get rid of a heat rash, you can treat it at home with moisturizers, anti-inflammatory lotions like calamine lotion, and over-the-counter steroid creams.

Dr. Del Campo recommends putting your lotion or moisturizer in the refrigerator for treating heat rash. “When we put it on cold it feels better,” he said.

How long does heat rash last? Heat rashes typically go away within a day or so, though if they develop pimples, they could take a few days to clear. If your rash isn’t getting better in a few days, see a doctor. A rash that’s not clearing up could be another type of rash, bug bites or a viral infection. “If your rash isn’t associated with sweating or is spreading to other parts of your body like your chest, back or legs, it could be something else,” Dr. Chapas said.

Heat rash can also be a warning sign that you’re overdoing it in the warm weather. Don’t ignore it—overheating can also lead to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. And too much time in the sun can cause sunburn and sun poisoning.