What Is 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 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.
What Are the Treatments for Heat Rash?
In most cases, heat rashwill clear up on its own in a few days if the affected area is kept cool and dry. So cool your body in an air-conditioned room or with a fan, or take a cool shower or bath and let your skinair dry. Once the skin is cool and dry again, don’t use any type of oil-based product, which might block your sweat glands.
If your prickly heat does not go away within a few days, or if you develop an infection where the bumps have burst, you may need medication, so call your doctor. Also call the doctor if you have a fever or any other signs of illness. If you have been taking an antibiotic or other new medicine and develop a rash, you also need to call your doctor.
How Can I Prevent Heat Rash?
To help prevent heat rash, avoid situations that can lead to excessive sweating, such as hot, humid environments. Avoid strenuous exercisewhen it is very warm. In hot weather, use air conditioning, fans, and cool showers and baths to stay cool; dry your skin thoroughly; and wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics. Drink plenty of fluids to cool the body and to keep hydrated.