On a beautiful summer night, you just arrived at home and planned to take a shower as you had sweated a lot while jogging at the park. You took off the sportswear and noticed something unusual, then started staring at yourself in the mirror… What was it? That patch of red blisters on your belly? Why was it getting itchy? Oh, no, heat rash…
Have you ever had such experiences? This minor discomfort comes for you from time to time, nibbling at a part of your skin, basically harmless but disturbing. Do you want to know more about it and learn how to beat this creep? Check this out!
What is heat rash?
Heat rash occurs at any time of year, but frequently in warmer months because it has something to do with your perspiration. With too much sweat, your overwhelmed glands will make sweat ducts blocked, trapping the sweat underneath your skin. The rash affects both children and adults, while the former are more vulnerable because their skin cannot adapt to volatile temperatures and their sweat glands are still developing.
Symptoms of heat rash
There are three types of heat rash with different symptoms and severity:
· Miliaria crystalline (most common) – small white bumps filled with fluid on the skin; no itching or pain; more common in babies than adults.
· Miliaria rubra or prickly heat – red bumps on the skin, inflammation, and a lack of sweat in the affected area; more uncomfortable.
· Miliaria profunda (least common) –large, tough, flesh-colored bumps; occurs in the deepest skin layer; possibly recurs and become chronic.
In most cases, heat rash goes away on its own in a matter of days, but if symptoms last for longer, keep deteriorating like an inflammation, or recur frequently, it is better to seek advice from a doctor. Just be mindful, excessive itching can create an open wound that easily gets infected under touching. These symptoms can make the condition complicated:
· a fever, cough, runny nose
· increased aches
· pus draining from the bumps
Causes of heat rash
As we’ve mentioned above, more sweat means a greater risk for heat rash, thus hot and humid weather presents the most common trigger, alongside friction on the surface of the skin.
Skin folds like those of the armpits or elbows and places where the clothing rubs the skin such as the stomach, chest, and back are more likely to have heat rash. Likewise, heat rash is often seen on parts of the body that rub together, like between the inner thighs or under the arms. Babies often develop heat rash on their necks and skin folds.
· Overheating due to intense exercise, certain clothing, thick lotions and creams
· Plugged sweat gland ducts due to dead skin cells or bacteria
· Humid, tropical climates
· Certain medications that raise the body’s temperature or inhibit perspiration or change the fluid balance
· Long periods of bed rest
· Avoid using thick or oily lotions or creams
· Avoid being overheated, especially in warmer months
· Use a gentle soap
· Choose sports gear that’ll wick moisture away from the skin
· Take frequent showers in hot and humid weather
· Wear appropriate clothing for the temperature, like loose-fitting cotton clothing when it’s hot
· Don’t scratch the irritated areas
· Calamine lotion to cool the skin
· Wear loose-fitting clothing
· Avoid oily or thick skin products
· Avoid overheating
· Change out of wet clothing instantly after sweating
· A cooler environment helps the itching subside
· Hydrocortisone cream in a low dosage helps the itching subside
Now you may get the point of how to win this battle against heat rash. Remember to stay hydrated on a hot day and during a physical activity and watch for other signs of heat exhaustion. Enjoy your summer!