Heat rash, which is also called as "miliaria" or "prickly heat" is a condition that affects the skin mostly out of a blockage of the sweat ducts. The blockage of these sweat pores is mostly known to be as a result of excess sweating, which leaves the pores unable to excrete all the sweat. Upon blockage of the sweat pores, sweat accumulates within the inner skin layers causing a rash.
The blockage of the sweat ducts is mostly known to be caused by over sweating that happens to people living in very hot areas. There are other factors that can cause the condition. It involves overdressing, staying close to a fire, and bacterial infections.
Heat Rash in Children
Have you seen your child having rashes and fail to understand what is happening? Or have you heard of children who frequently have heat rash? Many people may be mistaken and think that heat rash is a condition for adults alone. This is not true.
Heat rash is also known to affect newborns and young children. Actually, most cases of the infection occur in babies. Children are mostly affected by the condition because of their underdeveloped sweat pores. Parents can be worried and scared sometimes if their kids develop a rash.
In cases where children develop heat rash and the condition is not identified nor treated on time, it may further cause other complications to the child. It is important to look out for the symptoms to prevent future complications of heat rash. Here are some of the things you should know:
Who Gets Heat Rash?
It is clear that heat rash is associated with excess sweating. As a result, 3 out of 10 people who are travelling in warm or tropical areas will have the skin condition. This condition is also known to affect people of ages. However, infants and small children are more affected as a result of their underdeveloped sweat glands, thus, having small pores that can be easily blocked.
What Should You Know As a Parent?
If you are a parent and not informed about what heat rash is, it may be difficult to deal with the condition in case of an emergency. It will also be hard to identify its symptoms, treatment measures, or prevention if you are unaware of the condition.
Symptoms of Heat Rash in Babies
Before treating heat rash in your children, as a parent, you should be able to know how heat rash looks like. Here are the common symptoms of heat rash:
- Skin irritation - most children will complain of an irritated skin. If children are very young to explain, they will freaquently scratch the affected skin part leading to an irritation.
- Itching of the skin - you may notice children scratching their skin often due to skin itchiness.
- Tiny blisters - these blisters are mostly found around the thighs or the back, where they are often unseen since they are covered with clothes.
- Formation of bumps - small bumps can form on the skin that can burst if frequently scratched.
- Burning sensation - can also be experienced if the rash is severe.
- Very little sweat or none - there may be a little production of sweat in the affected areas, especially during hot days. Your child may not even sweat when expected to. This condition is due to the blockage of the sweat ducts.
Other Infections That Might Be Related to Heat Rash
The treatment of prickly heat can be very tricky. There are a number of other infections that can be easily mistaken with heat rash. There are also infections that can cause heat rash, which should be addressed when treating the condition.
Bacterial infection of the skin is the most common cause of an irritated heat rash. When your child has a certain bacterial infection, the bacteria can interfere with the skin pores, leading to their blockage, which is the main cause of heat rash.
Get your child tested to know whether he or she has a bacterial infection, especially if the condition does not go away on itself after a while. Moreover, make sure that you do not confuse heat rash with other skin-related infections such as chickenpox.
What Types of Heat Rash Are There?
Heat rash can be seen in different forms. You should identify whether your children have the following types of heat rash before you begin administering the treatment. The different types of heat rash are:
- Miliaria crystallina - is the mildest form since it just affects the sweat ducts on the top layers of the skin. People who have this rash mostly have blisters that are filled with some fluids.
- Miliaria rubra - is another type of rash that affects the middle layers of skin. Its symptoms are more severe compared to those of Miliaria crystallina. It is also more commonly seen among adults than in children. Itching, a prickly sensation, and red bumps are its main symptoms.
- Miliaria profunda - is the least common type of heat rash since it mostly affects only the deeper layer of the skin. It is mostly experienced out of a repeated attack by other types of heat rash. People with this type of rash will have lesions that are fresh-colored, larger bumps.
What Are Some of the Treatment Measures for Your Child?
- Reducing the number of clothes - especially if it is a hot day. Some parents will dress their children heavily even during very hot days, which leads to an excessive sweating of the skin. As a result, sweat blocks the sweat ducts. Children are believed to have sweat pores that are not well-developed and are easily blocked.
- Heat - reduce the heat around them. For people living in very hot areas, heat rash can be a serious problem because of sweating. However, you can help your children not to have heat rash by installing air-conditioners in their rooms. Staying in a cool environment keeps them from sweating a lot.
- Apply soothing lotions - calamine lotion can help reduce the effects of heat rash on the skin. Applying calamine lotion is also useful in preventing the skin from further irritation and damage. It is a suitable skin treatment method only after one has experienced heat rash.
- Anthistamine tablets - note that these medications are not always the best to use. Thus, it is advisable to visit your GP before using such medications. However, they are useful in dealing with skin itchiness. Antihistamines also help in reducing the pain and discomfort caused by the rash.
- Better clothing - dressing your children properly will help reduce the chances of developing heat rash. Children dressed in nylon or polyster will experience excessive sweating. It is better for your children to wear cotton clothes to reduce sweating.
- Use of hydrocortisone cream - is a type of topical medication that contains some amount of steroids. The use of these creams can help reduce skin inflammation.
- Bathing - after bathing, let your children's skin dry on its own rather than using a towel. Doing this technique will help cool the body further.
The Bottom Line
Heat rash is a type of skin condition that is sometimes not taken seriously. People also confuse the condition with other infections. However, it can go away after some time depending on your environment.
Heat rash is very common in children. Nevertheless, very few parents are able to identify the condition in their children. At the same time, most of the parents do not know the right measures to undertake once they identify the condition.
Always make sure that you have confirmed the heat rash symptoms experienced by your child to avoid treating the wrong infection. You can also visit a doctor for medical advice.
Treating your child early enough before the infection spreads to other parts of the body is crucial. However, if these symptoms do not go away soon, consult a doctor for proper treatment.