This short article was medically reviewed by Mona Gohara, M.D., a dermatologist and person in the Prevention Medical Review Board.
Once the sweltering temps roll around, the body naturally tries to remain cool by sweating. But beyond feeling uncomfortably damp and hot, that sweat may bring on some gnarly unwanted effects if it gets bad enough. Cue heat rash. These painful patches of skin can arrive all over the body, so we chatted with dermatologists to find out what’s heat rash and exactly ways to get gone heat rash quickly using treatments that truly work.
What’s heat rash?
Heat rash is really a kind of inflammation occurring due to blocking the sweat ducts and frequently occurs in hot, humid environments or when someone includes a high fever, says Marisa Garshick, M.D., a respected board-certified dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and PLASTIC SURGERY and advisor of BioRepublic.
The real medical definition of a heat rash is really a condition called miliaria, but people often utilize the phrase heat rash to make reference to any rash occurring in the summertime after heat exposure, says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., a cosmetic and medical dermatologist at Goldenberg Dermatology in NEW YORK.
What does heat rash appear to be and what exactly are heat rash symptoms?
The tell-tale signs of heat rash are usually itching or perhaps a stinging sensation that persists, Dr. Garshick says. They appear as small, red bumps that appear to be little blisters and typically pop-up on your own back or other obstructed parts of the body, she notes.
Ife J. Rodney, M.D., founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics in Maryland, says you might spot the following symptoms:
- Pain from underlying pustules
The bumps from heat rash could be itchy or prickly, Dr. Goldenberg says, which explains why heat rash may also be called prickly heat.
Distinguishing heat rash from other rashes is difficult because it can appear to be several skin conditions that have a tendency to flare up in the summertime, like eczema or hives. However, these conditions are often a lot more itchy than true heat rash, Dr. Goldenberg says.
Dr. Garshick explains that, unlike heat rash, traditional hives have a tendency to appear as broader, light pink patches which come and go within 24 hours. Another common skin irritation called eczema is frequently pink with flaky patches that involve the arms and the region behind the knee.
It is possible to search for small blisters and redness on the extremities or areas which are susceptible to sweat, Dr. Rodney says. However, in case a rash youve never seen before arises in the summertime and its along with a fever, is painful, or uncomfortable, its far better see your dermatologist for an authentic diagnosis, Dr. Garshick says.
Do you know the various kinds of heat rash?
The various forms of heat rash are divided by how deep the blocked sweat ducts are, says Dr. Rodney.
This is actually the mildest type of heat rash, also it impacts the sweat ducts in the very best layer of your skin. It causes clear, fluid-filled blisters and bumps that break easily. Superficial heat rashes arrive on areas where sweat is common just like the head, neck, and upper torso, Dr. Rodney says.
This type of heat rash goes deeper in to the skin and causes red bumps and itching or prickling in the affected area. Sometimes, the red rash is associated with pustules, Dr. Rodney says, pointing out these tend to be more common on the torso, between skin folds, or areas of the body where fabric will cause skin chafing, just like the thighs.
It is a less common type 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 from the sweat gland in to the skin, causing firm, skin-colored bumps on the arms, legs, and torso.
Ways to get gone heat rash quickly and treatments
Heat rash will most likely go away alone, Dr. Goldenberg says, but there are some actions you can take to obtain relief if youre uncomfortable.
Escape heat. Heat rashes have a tendency to disappear completely with a big change in environment, Dr. Rodney says. Which includes removing yourself from heat when you can and getting into an air-conditioned space. Dr. Garshick adds that heat rash will typically heal by cooling your skin, keeping it dry, and avoiding contact with heat.
Apply a topical steroid cream. If youre especially itchy, Dr. Goldenberg recommends applying a topical steroid cream like 1% hydrocortisone to tamp down inflammation. Its essential you dont scratch at the rash, Dr. Garshick says, so she recommends applying a soothing lotion like CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion for Itch Relief or Sarna Original Anti-Itch Lotion.
Cool-down. In case you have miliaria rubra, Dr. Rodney says that utilizing a cold compress on your own skin might provide relief. Going for a cold bath or shower or adding fans or ac units to the area may also help, Dr. Garshick says.
Avoid irritants. Dr. Garshick suggests avoiding irritants, like fragrance once the skin has already been sensitive.
All this, along with doing all your far better stay cool, must do the secret, Dr. Goldenberg says. However, there exists a small chance that you could create a infection from heat rash (avoid scratching!), which may result in inflamed and itchy pustules. If that occurs, call your physician because you can need antibiotics to clear things up.
Preventing heat rash
With heat rashes, prevention works a lot more than cure, Dr. Rodney says. Just how exactly is it possible to prevent prickly heat? Limiting just how much you sweat can help, the American Academy of Dermatology says, but obviously, which can be tricky during the warm months. Try these pointers to avoid heat rash later on.
Avoid tight clothing. If youre susceptible to heat rashes, avoid tight clothing or clothing manufactured from fabrics like spandex, especially in the summertime. Adhere to breathable fabrics, like cotton, Dr. Rodney says.
Stay hydrated. Dr. Garshick says staying hydrated in heat might help keep you cool overall.
Remain dry. Take special care to make sure areas which are more susceptible to moisture, like armpits or groin, are dry in order to avoid any rashes, says Mamina Turegano, M.D., F.A.A.D., a triple board-certified dermatologist, internist, and dermatopathologist and c-founder of Skintap.
Adjust fitness trackers. These tight devices, like wristbands and rings, can trap lots of heat and sweat. Dr. Garshick suggests ensuring your device fits properly, deciding on a breathable fabric that wont trap moisture, keeping your skin clean and moisturized, and removing devices after prolonged wear in order to avoid a rash.
Arielle WegArielle Weg may be the associate editor at Prevention and wants to share her favorite wellness and nutrition obsessions.
Korin MillerKorin Miller is really a freelance writer focusing on general wellness, sexual health insurance and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Mens Health, Womens Health, Self, Glamour, and much more.
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