A heat rash or sweat rash on your child can be concerning. It can cause discomfort, and you might not know where it came from. But you don’t have to worry about it so much — heat rashes on your child are one of the more common skin problems.
Heat rash—also known as prickly heat or miliaria—is a skin condition that develops when your child’s skin gets too hot. Heat rash is caused when sweat glands get blocked, and the sweat gets stuck in your child’s pores. When your child’s body becomes hot, the sweat glands in their skin begins to produce sweat to cool down. Normally, drops of sweat would be released through openings known as sweat ducts. However, children have tiny pores that can easily become clogged. This is how heat rash occurs — it is the result of sweat getting caught in those small pores as it tries to reach the skin surface.
Children have soft and delicate skin. This means that their skin is more sensitive and prone to rashes. The symptoms of heat rash include:
If your child has experienced these telltale signs, they might have a heat rash. Keep an eye on your child’s chest, neck, diaper area or armpits. Your child is more likely to develop heat rash in these spots of their body because these are the areas of the body that usually produce the most sweat. Clothing also tends to fit tightly around those parts of their body.
No worries, mum! Heat rash is easy to treat and it normally goes away in two to three days, if not sooner. Here are some of the best ways to treat your child’s heat rash.
It is extremely important to keep the areas affected by heat rash completely dry. As mentioned before, heat rash is caused by clogged sweat in your child’s pores, so keeping your child’s skin dry would let it breathe and clear up the heat rash. Let your child be naked, or just in a diaper at room temperature (or cooler) as much as possible until the rash goes away.
Another way to help your child's skin breathe is by using clothing that helps remove sweat and moisture away from the surface of their skin. This also helps alleviate the symptoms and aids with sweat evaporation, giving your child some comfort.
A lot of soaps are too harsh for a child’s delicate skin, so avoid them as much as possible. Instead, use mild cleansers to bathe your child. It is a great way to treat heat rash and will keep your child’s skin healthy. You can also use baking soda, calamine lotion or aloe vera gel to soothe irritated skin. Sandalwood powder is another terrific way to help with itchiness!
Always be gentle with your child’s skin. Be careful not to rub or scratch your child’s skin when dressing them. You can even let your child air-dry after a bath to cool off if you have the time. If you’re not a fan of air-drying after bathtime, you can pat your child dry with a soft towel and only use gentle skincare products that are specially designed for a child’s delicate skin.
It could be possible that your child is dehydrated when they experience a heat rash. There could be a lot of moisture produced by sweat glands that get locked in their skin and the rash. Your child’s body is working very hard to unclog their pores to make the rash go away. Give your child plenty of fluids so that their body has the hydration it needs until the heat rash is gone.
In conclusion, heat rash/prickly heat is not a serious problem. More often than not, it resolves on its own, especially if you practice the tips and tricks we’ve shared with you. Heat rash is never fun, but as mentioned, it is very common and easily treatable. Keeping your child cool and dry is a great way to prevent heat rash. But it goes without saying that if you want more health information, or if your child starts experiencing more severe symptoms like fever, chills, or increased pain, you should seek out a doctor for professional medical assistance.