Heat Rash

September 19, 20130 Comments

Heat rash is not reserved for infants alone but it can also occur on adults. Heat rash mostly develops during hot weather conditions but it can also occur when the sweat glands are blocked failing to perspire. Heat rashes or prickly heat are marked by blister formation or red lumps causing intense itching. They do not warrant any treatment and will settle down after few weeks. You need to keep your skin cool to prevent heat rashes.

Heat Rash Symptoms :

Heat rash develops on places of folds of skin or on the skin surface where tight clothing causes friction on the skin. It occurs in armpits and elbow for adults and for infants it develops on the neck and shoulder region and also on the chest. In rare cases it occurs on the groin also. Heat rashes are like blisters or reddish bumps small in size and occurs in groups. They produce severe itching and irritation apart from causing discomfort. For some people it causes fluid filled blisters or papules which may be painful in nature. It causes prickly feeling on the area in which it has developed.

Types :

Based on the places where the sweat glands are blocked, heat rash or miliaria is categorized into 3 types.

  • Crystalline Miliaria :

This type affects the superficial layer of the skin causing blisters that would break easily. It causes intense itching and is painful. It generally occurs on infants but sometimes even adults can develop it.

  • Miliaria Rubra :

This type affects the outer epidermal layer of the skin and is often prickly. The symptoms of this type are red bumps, itchy feeling and lack of sweating. Infants may develop this type of rash in the first few weeks and for adults this occurs when exposed to intense hot weather.

  • Miliaria Profunda :

In this case, the deep layer of skin called dermis gets affected. It can also occur as a continuation of miliaria rubra for several weeks. It is marked by red lesions resembling goose bumps and it can cause nausea and dizziness if there is no perspiration.

Heat Rash Causes :

Heat rashes mainly occurs if the sweat glands are blocked resulting in trapping of perspiration under the skin. It will eventually cause inflammation of the skin forming heat rash. However it is not known what factor blocks sweat glands.

In infants sweat glands may not be fully formed hence can cause trapping of perspiration. Tropical climate like hot weather is the major cause for heat rash. Individuals who are involved in intense physical work like exercising and doing hard work or those who sweat profusely are prone to get heat rashes. Wearing synthetic fabrics may not absorb perspiration causing heat rash. Certain drugs like beta blockers can block the normal function of sweat glands. Using high makeup and heavy creams can block perspiration.

Who are at risk?

Individuals who live in hot climatic zones and those who are hard working and sweat profusely are prone to develop heat rash. In rare cases, heat rash gets infected with bacteria forming inflammation on the skin. Similarly long period of heat rash can cause heat exhaustion.

Tests :

It is easy to identify heat rash by mere physical examination of the affected skin.

Treatment :

You need to keep your skin cooled to avoid getting heat rash. You can switch on the air conditioners or fans when inside the rooms. Wear light cotton clothes that facilitate absorption of sweat. Limit your physical work during hot climate.

Mild form of heat rash fades away within few days or weeks. In case of intense heat rashes you can apply topical creams like calamine lotion for getting relief from itching. Anhydrous lanolin is useful in clearing the blockage of sweat ducts so that new bumps are not formed. Your doctor may give creams that contain topical steroids for controlling severe rashes.

Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Heat Rash :

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Prevention :

It is easy to prevent heat rash by following simple steps. Stay indoors and avoid going out in hot sun. Wear light cotton clothing and don’t overdress in winter and stay comfortable. Make sure that the clothes you wear are not tight fitting causing friction with the skin. Avoid using high makeup and creams that may block the sweat ducts.

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