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Niceville (Bluewater Bay), FL

Niceville (Bluewater Bay), FL

4 Facts Parents Should Know About Heat Rash

Heat rash is one of the most common kinds of seasonal skin irritations, especially among children. As a parent, you should understand this condition so you can identify heat rashes when they occur and get your child the treatment that he or she needs.

In this blog, we provide an overview of four basic facts that you should know about pediatric heat rashes.

Rashes Appear in Specific Conditions

As the name implies, heat rashes occur primarily in warm and humid conditions. Individuals who live in tropical climates have a higher risk of heat rash than those living in dry or cool environments.

Heat rashes appear when sweat gets trapped in the glands. Most heat rashes appear after strenuous activity in the heat or after sleeping in a poorly ventilated, humid area. However, heat rashes can occur whenever your child’s sweat is unable to evaporate properly due to the clothes he or she wears or the climate he or she is in.

Infants are particularly susceptible to heat rash because they may not be able to change position and cannot change location when they become too warm.

There are Multiple Varieties

Heat rash comes in three main varieties and severities. Each type looks and feels slightly different. These varieties include:

Miliaria crystallina. This mild form of heat rash looks like small, clear bumps. These blister-like sores are full of sweat and may burst on their own. Because the crystallina variety does not itch or hurt, your child may not notice the rash or may mistake the rash for a severe sunburn.
Miliaria rubra. Also known as prickly heat, miliaria rubra occurs deeper in the skin than miliaria crystallina. The rubra variety causes red bumps that itch or feel prickly. Your child may also develop redness and swelling around the rash or soreness in the overall area. If left untreated, prickly heat bumps can develop into painful sores filled with pus.
Miliaria profunda. Miliaria profunda is the rarest form of heat rash and is more likely to occur on your skin than on your child’s. This rash variety results in large sores that are the same color as the skin around them. Many individuals also experience nausea and dizziness. Once a person develops miliaria profunda, the rash may recur whenever the skin is exposed to high temperatures.

While some heat rashes resolve on their own or through the use of at-home remedies, any of these rashes can become hazardous to your child’s health, as we’ll discuss in the next section.

Rashes Can Become Dangerous

While heat rash itself is not life-threatening or even truly dangerous to your child, the presence of a rash can indicate that your child is in unsafe conditions. Long-term exposure to heat and humidity severe enough to cause heat rash could also lead to dehydration, heat stroke, or other conditions. You should help your child cool down and stay cool if you notice a skin irritation that could be heat rash.

Additionally, rashes can become hazardous to your child’s health if the rashes become infected. Infection can occur due to scratching, which may push the trapped sweat deeper into the skin or spread the liquid around. Infection can also occur if your child has a compromised or under-developed immune system.

Consider the rash infected and seek immediate medical attention if your child exhibits any of the following symptoms:

High or sudden fever
Intense, localized pain around the rash
Pus leaking from any of the sores
Streaks leading away from the rash
Swollen lymph nodes, especially in the groin, neck, or underarm areas

Once a rash reaches this severity, your medical care provider will likely seek to resolve the infection first rather than starting with the rash itself.

You Can Start Treatment at Home

While many heat rashes require professional diagnosis and treatment, you can start minimizing your child’s discomfort right away. As soon as you notice the rash, move your child to a cool area.

Loosen any tight clothing and remove any excess clothing articles such as over shirts or shoes and socks. This step helps your child’s body begin to regulate heat more effectively.

Do not apply any topical treatments to the area since these substances may actually make it more difficult for your child’s sweat to evaporate normally.

Once your child cools off, the rash should begin to heal. You can reduce the risk of future rashes by limiting your child’s exposure to extreme heat and humidity.

During warm weather, pay attention to the conditions that cause heat rash as well as any symptoms that your child exhibits so that you can protect your little one’s delicate skin.

If you child develops a heat rash that does not go away within three days or a rash that shows signs of infection, see a pediatric dermatologist from Dermatology Surgery Center.

Dermatology Surgery Center - Niceville, FL (Bluewater Bay)