Summer can be especially hard on people who have sensitive skin or are prone to skin rashes or hives. The heat and humidity that accompanies the summer months can lead to a number of different types of rashes that can turn the fun of summer into an itchy, uncomfortable mess, the most common is heat rash.
What is Heat Rash?
Heat rash, also known as “prickly heat” and summer rash”, can manifest in a number of ways. It can look like hives or a sudden eruption of little bumps (and sometimes tiny blisters). On babies and adults you might spot them on the forehead, cheeks, in the fold of the skin, neck, armpits, on bottoms and private areas – any place where sweat might accumulate and get trapped. While not dangerous, heat rash can be discomforting, as it tends to itch and, in some cases, blister.
There are several types of heat rashes, according to experts, and each has a different level of severity. They can be identified as follows:
- Clear – This is a mild, often non-itchy form of heat rash, which can look like beads of sweat, but are tiny blisters.
- Red – Probably the most common form of heat rash, it often causes local inflammation.
- Deep – A more severe form, it often occurs after several outbreaks of skin rash. It can spread quickly and cause a severe burning sensation.
- White Yellow – This type is often due to bacterial growth, which is due to infection.
In summer when the sweat glands are most active, they can get clogged and back up, mostly due to over dressing. This happens especially with babies because well intentioned parents are hoping to protect the child from sun exposure. Children and adults should dress comfortably in clothing that breathes and allows the body to cool naturally.
How Do You Treat It?
Generally cooling the body down, and remaining in a cool environment when temperatures rise can often prevent it and diminish the condition. Allowing the skin to air dry rather than towel drying is helpful. Most often though, this type of rash will go away on its own or can be treated with a number of over-the-counter remedies.
The key thing is to avoid scratching. With babies that can be tricky, but keeping the nails short and putting socks on the baby’s hands at night has been recommended to help prevent infection and more serious issues.
If the condition worsens, you may need to consult your health care professional who might recommend antibiotics. Before it gets to that however, make sure to monitor your condition or, in the case of a baby, make sure to consult your pediatrician who should advise you on medicines to use.
As always, the best policy is prevention. Keep cool during the summer months. Dress in light breathable clothing, and do the same for your child. Take cool showers or baths and be sure that your skin is thoroughly dry afterwards. Hydration is also important. Drinking lots of fluids helps keep pores from clogging, and the body cool by balancing your internal temperature.
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References: National Baby Center, Mayo Clinic, Medicine.net, WebMD, 123homeremedies.com.
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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