What is heat rash?
Heat rash is caused as a result of the inability to sweat properly. It occurs when the sweat is trapped under the skin and spreads to the underlying skin which is not supposed to be. It is this that now occurs as rashes. Heat rash occurs mostly in dry climate although it can occur in cool climate condition too. It also occurs when people lie on their back for too long; it happens because the holes by which sweat comes out of the skin are blocked or disturbed.
Does it occur only in babies?
No, heat rash doesn’t only occur in babies although it occurs more in them because of their low immunity and the fact that they lie down a lot. Nevertheless, it can happen in any age and sex.
What are the types of heat rash?
There are different types of heat rash depending on where the obstruction occurs in the body. Medically, there are about three different types of heat rash. We have the clear (miliaria crystallina) – this is mildest form. Usually the blisters aren’t itchy or painful. Red (miliaria rubra) – it occurs deeper in the outer skin layer, itchy with red bumps, prickly heat found in infants and adults. Deep (miliaria profunda) – least common form, usual in adults after repeated events of heat rash, flesh-coloured lesions. These are classified based on the level in which obstruction occurs.
Is heat rash infectious?
Heat rash is not contagious and it is not an infectious disease although there is a role played by bacteria on the skin known as staphylococcus epidermidis. It contributes to the blockage of the sweet duct. Although many people believe or confuse it for a drug reaction or a bacterial infection, it is largely not an infectious disease.
How is it diagnosed?
Heat rash can be diagnosed by observation of the susceptible individuals in the setting of a hot environment. Usually, they occur as red small rash with a pinpoint that is spread over the neck, shoulder, back and front surfaces of the elbow.
Can complications arise from heat rash?
It is a condition that will resolve as the weather cools down. It doesn’t lead to too much complication except for the discomfort that comes with the itching.
What is the relationship between heat rash and global warming?
Of course, heat in itself comes with many complications but the rash doesn’t have any complications. As the world temperatures increase, you will experience much heat. People who live in high-temperature areas tend to experience heat rash more. When the weather is very hot, it is not something that cannot be expected.
Who are those prone to heat rash?
People at risk of heat rash are people who live in hot areas; people who wear tight clothes and lie down for a long time. All these occur in the setting of hot weather. Also, athletes or people who exercise in a hot environment, obese or overweight persons and individuals with congenital absence or decreased sweating have higher chances of having heat rash.
How is it treated?
The major treatment for heat rash is to get exposure to a cool environment and staying in a cool environment for four to five hours will help to alleviate heat for the rest of the day. One can also cool down the body by frequent shower. Sometimes, when the itching is too much, it is advisable to use calamine lotion to relieve the itching.
Is using dusting powder and other medicated powder safe for treating heat rash especially in children?
The use of dusting powder is not exactly a treatment to the rash but it is a kind of relief for the itching for the meantime. The dusting powder is meant to relieve the symptoms of the itching till the rash disappears.
When should a victim of heat rash see a doctor?
It usually heals by cooling the skin and avoiding exposure to the heat that causes it. See a doctor if you or your child has symptoms that last longer than a few days. Also, one should see a doctor when the rash seems to be worse, or if there are signs of infection such as increased pain, swelling, redness or warmth around the affected area, pus draining from the lesions, swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck or groin or when the victim is down with fever or chills.
How can heat rash be prevented?
To prevent heat rash, people can take some precautions. Although they can’t stop the weather, they can do things like wear loose-fitting clothes, stay in an air-conditioned room or use fans. They should also shower frequently and of course, avoid hot humid places, avoid doing exercises in a hot environment and shun activities that will make them sweat excessively during hot weather. People should also drink plenty of water for overall hydration. Water can help maintain cooler body temperature.