Heat Rash (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Heat rash facts
- What is heat rash?
- What are the causes of heat rash?
- What are the symptoms of heat rash in children and adults?
- What does heat rash look like?
- Heat rash pictures
- Who is at risk for heat rash?
- How is heat rash diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for heat rash?
- Home remedies for heat rash
- Medical treatment for heat rash
- How can heat rash be prevented?
- How effective are electric fans in preventing heat rash?
- How can people protect their health when temperatures are extremely high?
- How much water should I drink in hot weather?
- Should I take salt tablets during hot weather?
- What is the best clothing to wear in hot weather or a heat wave?
- What is the prognosis for heat rash?
- Pictures of Heat Rash - Slideshow
- Pictures of Summer Skin Hazards - Slideshow
- Pictures of Dehydration Tips - Slideshow
- Find a local Doctor in your town
Who is at risk for heat rash?
Newborns, infants, the elderly, and obese individuals with large areas with skin-on-skin contact areas (for example, a large overlapping area of abdominal fat or panniculus) are at risk for developing heat rash. They all are especially at risk if they are immobile for long periods of time and parts of the skin aren't exposed to circulating air, which results in the inability of the sweat ducts to "breathe" (evaporative cooling).
Heat rashes are more common in places with hot, humid, climates because people sweat more.
Intense exercise associated with lots of sweating may cause a heat rash, especially if the clothing worn does not allow adequate air circulation.
How is heat rash diagnosed?
The diagnosis of heat rash or prickly heat is made by physical examination. Knowing that the rash appears during sweating or heat, appreciating the location on the body (in skin creases or where clothes fit tightly) and seeing what the rash looks like is enough to make the diagnosis. As with many rashes, the health care professional may look at the involved skin and because of previous experience, immediately make the diagnosis.
What is the treatment for heat rash?
Treatment for heat rash include home remedies such as over-the-counter creams and sprays. Medical treatment for heat rash may involve antibiotics if the sweat glands become infected.
Home remedies for heat rash
Heat rash often resolves on its own when the skin cools. If the prickly sensation persists, calamine lotion may be helpful. Some clinicians also recommend over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams or sprays.
Learn more about: hydrocortisone
Some people suggest that vitamin A or vitamin C creams may be effective to treat heat rash, and while there is no hard evidence that they work, there is little harm in these treatments.
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