Heat rash is a common & mild skin condition that people often experience when they get hot & sweat

Heat rash is sometimes known as prickly heat or miliaria. It can occur when sweat has trouble escaping the skin’s pores, causing skin to become irritated. Heat rash is non-contagious and in most cases will heal within a couple of days. 

What are the symptoms of heat rash?

Heat rash can appear anywhere on the body. In adults, it’s more common in areas where there are folds of skin, like your armpits or around your toes. For infants, it’s more common around the neck, shoulders and chest. 

The common symptoms are:

• Itchy, prickly feeling

• Small, raised spots

• Mild swelling

• Redness but this may be less obvious on darker skin tones

• Sore skin

What causes heat rash?

Heat rash is most common in hot and humid conditions. It’s caused when you sweat a lot, and the ducts in your sweat glands get blocked. Instead of evaporating, sweat is trapped beneath the skin, leading to irritation and small spots. 

How do I prevent heat rash?

Keeping your skin cool is the best way to avoid heat rash. A breakout can often occur where clothing fits tightly over your skin, so try to wear loose, lightweight clothing. Make sure your bedroom is cool and well-ventilated, and that you sleep under light bedding. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can also help. 

How do I treat heat rash?

Heat rash is usually a very mild skin condition. Once the skin has cooled down, it should heal completely within a couple of days. 

If the rash is feeling particularly uncomfortable, you can apply something cold like a damp cloth or icepack, wrapped in a towel, to the affected area for up to 20 minutes.

You should avoid scratching the skin, as this could cause an infection. 

Moisturisers and other creams are not recommended, as they can further block pores and prevent sweat from escaping. 

If the rash doesn’t heal within a few days, or seems to spread, you should speak to your pharmacist or contact your GP.. 


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