Heat rash is a red or pink rash usually found on body areas covered by clothing. It can develop when the sweat ducts become blocked and swell and often leads to discomfort and itching. Heat rash is most common in babies, but may affect adults in hot, humid climates.
Heat Rash also can appear as large, reddened areas of skin. Babies and children are also more likely to be affected than adults because of their underdeveloped sweat glands, in which case the rash is commonly found in the nappy area and in the skin folds or on the neck. Heat Rash can also occur in cooler climates when sweating is a problem.
Heat rash can usually be identified by its appearance and does not usually require medical attention. However, if doesn’t go away after 3 or 4 days, or if it appears to be getting worse, or if your child develops a fever, contact your health professional right away.
It usually occurs on clothed parts of the body, such as the back, abdomen, neck, upper chest, groin, or armpits and goes away on its own within a few days. In severe forms, however, heat rash can interfere with the body’s heat-regulating mechanism and cause fever, heat exhaustion, and even death.
When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
Aanti-histamine creams or medications will relieve the itch. Antibiotics and topical antiseptics are used to prevent bacterial blooms. Keep the skin cool and dry. Keep the sleeping area cool.
The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort, but avoid using ointments or creams-they keep the skin warm and moist and may make the condition worse.
Apply hydrocortisone cream. For older children and adults, 1% hydrocortisone cream can kick the itch. A thin layer, applied to the rash two or three times a day, may help the bumps heal faster, too. Be sure to follow the package directions, and never use these creams on babies.
The power of vitamin C against the pain of prickly heat was demonstrated in a more controlled study carried out in Singapore by dermatologist T. C. Hindson, of the British Military Hospital there. It began with one of those happy accidents that the history of science is so full of. An Australian Air Force officer, troubled by a rash in his groin that had resisted all medication for a year, told the doctor that it suddenly cleared up in the course of a week when he caught a cold and started taking 1 g of vitamin C a day.
Summer is a time for fun and play but it can also be a time of discomfort when you can’t beat the heat so take every precaution you can to have a healthy, happy summer. By playing it cool, you can beat the summer heat and the discomfort of heat rash.