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Heat Rash

Heat Rash Quick Overview

  • Heat rash is the generic group name for a number of skin problems that arise or worsen because of heat exposure or overheating.
  • Common names for heat rash include prickly heat or miliaria
  • Heat rash is caused by exposure to a hot environment.
  • Symptoms of heat rash are the appearance of a rash and itching.
  • Heat rash is diagnosed by looking at skin changes and a history of exposure to heat.
  • Treatments for heat rash includes cleaning area with water and a mild soap and in more persistent cases a mild steroid cream (cortisone )
  • Heat rash can be prevented by staying in cool areas and wearing loose clothing.

Heat Rash Types (Miliaria)

Miliaria is the medical term for the heat related skin condition where tiny, pinpoint, pink to clear bumps form over a body area like the face or neck. It is caused when small sweat particles are trapped in the skin due to blocked pores. This trapping of sweat may cause inflammation and itching around the sweat pores. Miliaria is very common in infants but may also occur in adults. This condition occurs especially after repeated episodes of sweating in a hot, humid environment. Miliaria may look like small clear blisters or like gooseflesh.

There are three types of miliaria:

  1. Clear (miliaria crystalline): mildest form, usually the blisters aren't itchy or painful
  2. Red (miliaria rubra): occurring deeper in the outer skin layer, itchy with red bumps, prickly heat found in infants and adults;
  3. Deep (miliaria profunda): least common form, usually adults after repeated events of heat rash, flesh colored lesions.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/2/2015
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