Heat rash is a skin condition that is also called as "miliaria". It occurs as a result of excessive sweating that leads to the blocking of sweat glands. Once your sweat glands are blocked, sweat accumulates in the skin layers causing rashes. Most the symptoms of this condition are characterized by tiny blisters and bumps on the skin.
It is mostly presumed to appear in newborns. However, it is a condition that can be found in all people regardless of age. In most cases, miliaria is associated with excessive sweating, especially to people living in humid and hot environments. There are a number of other things that can cause prickly heat. They may include:
- Bacterial infections of the skin.
- Dead skin cells that accumulate in skin pores.
- Certain medications that cause blocking of the sweat glands.
- Poorly developed sweat glands in children.
- Sitting or staying close to fire or heater.
- Wearing clothes that do not give room for the evaporation of sweat.
- Doing vigorous physical activities that increase your level of sweating.
Diagnosing Heat Rash
Heat rash is a condition that does not have any specific examination. However, every doctor will consider the following factors when diagnosing the condition:
1. Your health history: In normal circumstances, heat rash symptoms are known to appear 2-3 days after staying in a hot environment. If you leave the area, they will start going away in the next few days. To help in ruling out the possibility of other infections, a doctor will want to know the onset of the symptoms and its progress.
2. Symptoms experienced: Depending on the type of symptoms you have, the doctor will know what type of heat rash you are experiencing. The types of heat rash also have varying symptoms. The following types are:
- Miliaria rubra - causes red bumps that are mostly itchy with a burning sensation of the skin.
- Miliaria crystalline - it is the mildest form of skin rash with tiny non-itchy blisters on the skin.
- Miliaria profunda - the rarest form of heat rash. It comes as a result of a repeated occurrence by the other types of heat rash. The rash appears as red-colored lesions.
3. Medical examination: It is not a common step but can be done if the doctor suspects that the rash is caused by other skin infections such as chickenpox.
Other Symptoms for Diagnosing Heat Rash
Diagnosis for heat rash is a process that mostly involves an observation of the various symptoms in the body. In most cases, a doctor will do an examination depending on other symptoms such as:
- Tiny blisters on the skin
- Formation of pink or red bumps
- Itching in some cases
- Scratching of the skin
The Bottom Line
Diagnosing heat rash is a simple process. However, the formation of rashes should not be mistaken for other infections that cause the same kind of symptoms. In case you experience fever, increased redness and itching, and swelling of the lymph nodes, especially on the armpits, the doctor can decide on doing further tests to check for other infections.