An uncomfortable condition that affects the young and old, heat rash occurs when sweat ducts clog. As sweat becomes trapped beneath the skin, inflammation occurs and a rash develops. While it’s not always clear why sweat ducts become clogged, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risk.
The best method for heat rash prevention is to avoid overheating. This is best accomplished in the following ways:
- Dress in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing
- Choose absorbent clothing that can wick moisture from your skin
- Try to spend as much time as possible in buildings that have air conditioning
- Take cool showers or baths and use nondrying soap.
- Air dry instead of using a towel
- Keep your sleeping area well ventilated and cool
Heat rash usually disappears as the skin cools; however, severe rashes may call for treatment. The most common treatments are topical. These include:
- Calamine lotion
- Anhydrous lanolin to prevent duct clogging
- Topical steroids for severe rashes
Things to Consider
In most instances, heat rash clears up after a few days. You can hasten recovery by keeping your skin cool and dry. Try to remain indoors in an air-conditioned climate. You should also consider taking cool showers and letting your body air dry.
Avoid creams and ointments containing mineral oil or petroleum, which can clog pores. If you develop an infection or your rash persists for more than a few days, visit a health care provider.