Heat rash is a skin condition that often affects babies and children in hot and humid weather conditions. These rashes also called as prickly heat rash can feel itchy, uncomfortable, and prickly.  Summer night can be difficult for babies as heat rash can keep your baby up all night, scratching those itchy, red bumps.

Babies are mostly affected because they tend to have warmer body temperature than adults. Because their sweat glands are less developed, their skin is not effective at regulating body temperature. Babies tend to have more skin folds, which can trap more heat and sweat. Although heat rash is not usually dangerous, but it indicated that baby is risk of overheating that can cause several other serious issues.  So it’s very important to keep the baby cool and comfortable which can quickly clear up the rash.

What causes heat rash in Babies?

Heat rash in babies develops when sweat ducts in the skin are blocked due to excessive sweating creating small fluid filled red bumps or blisters on the skin. It is most common during summer months, when weather is hot and humid.  Tight fitting clothes and repetitive friction or rubbing in the skin make it worse.

Most affected areas on babies are:

  • Neck folds
  • Armpit
  • Elbow and knee creases
  • Inner thighs

Types of heat rash

There are 3 types of heat rash or miliaria

Miliria rubra: This is the common type of rash which happens when there is blockage in the sweat glands near the outer superficial surface of the skin. It usually doesn’t need treatment as it goes away when body is cooled.

Miliaria crystalline: This is least severe form of heat rash. It happens when there is a blockage in the sweat glands deeper in the epidermis. This type of heat rash can cause tiny clear or white blisters. Usually topical treatment is all needed.

Miliaria profunda: This is severe type of heat rash and need immediate attention. This is the result of sweat leaking into the middle layer of skin (dermis). Besides itching, babies may also experience with intense flushing and burning sensation.

heat rash in babies
heat rash in babies

What are the symptoms of heat rash in babies?

Baby heat rash appears as clusters of tiny red bumps or clear vesicles commonly see on face and in the skin folds of neck, upper chest, arm, legs and groin. The skin tends to be hot and flushy with itching, tingling and prickling sensation. Your child can’t tell you how he feels but it can keep your baby up all night, scratching those itchy, red bumps.

Treatment of Heat rash in Babies

In most cases, the rash will go away on its own fairly quickly without any treatment. But in rear case, if the child starts having fever or you see pustules and swelling over the rash visit the doctor immediately. Don’t use thick creams, lotions or prickly heat powder as they further clog the pores and worsen the rash. Follow the below mentioned suggestions for management of prickly heat.

  1. Shift the baby in cooler and well ventilated area, keep the skin cool and dry.
  2. Apply cool compress in affected area.
  3. Wash away oil and sweat with mild soap and cool water, then gently pat the skin dry.
  4. Clean the skin folds regularly to avoid sweat and dirt trap in the skin.
  5. You can use air conditioning or fans to help keep the skin cool but don’t put your child in direct fan or A/C.
  6. Breast feed your baby regularly, give adequate water to help maintain hydration.
  7. Use loose fitting light clothes to you baby, let the skin breathe.