What is Heat Rash or Skin Rash?
Heat rash or skin rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during the hot, humid season. People of all ages get it, but is most common in young children.
Heat rash looks like small pimples, a red cluster of pimples, or tiny bumps surrounded by a zone of red skin. It is visible on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.
Heat or skin rash is also called prickly heat or miliaria, and is a common condition in which the affected skin area itch intensely and often feel prickly, or sting, due to overheating.
Causes of Skin or Heat Rash
Heat rash usually occurs on covered or clothed parts of the body, like the back, abdomen, neck, upper chest, groin or armpits. Women also develop breast rash.
It occurs most often in hot, humid conditions, but it is possible to get infected at cool temperatures if you are overdressed.
Also goes for active people, newborns in incubators, and bedridden patients with fever.
Heat rash begins with excessive sweating, specially in a hot, humid environment. The perspiration harms the cells on the skin, thus forming a barrier and trapping the sweat beneath the skin. It then builds up, thereby causing the bumps.
When these bumps burst and the trapped sweat is released, you may feel the prickly, stinging, or sensation characteristic of a heat rash.
In its worst forms, heat rash can interfere with the body's heat-regulating mechanism and cause fever, heat exhaustion, and even death.
How To Treat Heat Rash
In most cases, heat rash goes away on its own in a few days if the affected area is kept cool and dry. The best way to treat rash, whether heat rash or skin rash, is a cooler, humid environment and keeping the area dry. Use dusting powder to help.
If you're going to treat a rash at home, cool your body in an air-conditioned room or with a fan, or take a cool shower or bath and let your skin air dry. If you can't cool down right away and you still sweat, don't apply antiperspirant, lotion, insect repellent, or powder to your skin, because these may trap more sweat and make things worse.
Once the skin is cool and dry again, treat heat rash with an application of an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to relieve itching. No oil-based products please, which again, might block your sweat glands.
To treat heat rash is non-alarming and normally does not need medical assistance. But, call your doctor if it doesn't go away after a few days, or a serious infection develops in the affected area.
Seek and you shall find. Search the web for more info. But please come back ;-).
Despite being an Arizonan, so far we have not had any of the above heat sicknesses or done any to even treat heat rash!
Stay cool, Kabayan...
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