Heat rash is a condition where there are small, red bumps that develop on the baby or child when they become overheated caused by hot weather conditions or wearing warm fitting clothing. This condition usually happens in the summer months where the temperatures are humid and hot, but can also develop during the winter months.
Heat rash can also be called “prickly heat or “summer rash” and can affect older people but babies are more susceptible to this condition. Babies have smaller pores than adults and when babies sweat, they have difficulties releasing it from their bodies. As a result, the pores are clogged and cause the development of heat rash. Heat rash usually occurs on the stomach and chest, folds in the arms and legs, crotch areas and the buttocks of babies. The rash causes itchiness and irritation and the bumps are tender when touched.
- Development of lesions
- Tiny blisters or bumps that burst easily
- Lack of perspiration or less perspiration in the area
- Severe itching and prickly feeling
- Let the baby cool off by taking off or loosen clothing of the baby and place the baby in cool place or a shaded area. Keep the baby in a cotton towel since it helps in absorbing excess sweats instead of remaining in the skin.
- Run a cool compress or a wet face towel over the affected areas of the skin since it helps relieve itchiness of the skin.
- Fill a tub with lukewarm water and add 2 teaspoons of baking soda and then soak the baby in the bathtub for at least 10 minutes in order to minimize itching of the skin.
- After the bath, avoid rubbing the skin with a towel. Simply air-dry the baby in order to reduce the body temperature of the baby. Apply cornmeal or oatmeal on the skin of the baby after the bath since it helps absorb excess water found on the skin and also lessen the itchiness.
- Keep the room cool when the baby sleeps. Just make sure the baby is comfortably cool, but not cold.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the affected area of the skin at least three times every day. Calamine lotion can also be applied to the rash. Avoid using ointment and cream since it can cause clogging of the pores and worsen the condition.
- Let the baby wear loose, cool and comfortable clothing and avoid using synthetic fabrics for the baby.
- Trim fingernails of the baby in order to prevent the baby from scratching the itchiness of the rash. At night time, cover the hands of the baby with socks to protect against scratching while in his/her sleep.
If the symptoms still persists and the heat rash does not get better in spite of these treatment measures, seek medical care immediately.