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Got heat rash? Here's how to identify and treat the condition

When temperatures soar, heat rash ensues. Discover how it's caused, how to identify it and how to treat it fast

Also known as prickly heat, heat rash can come on fast and furious when temperatures soar. But despite how quickly it appears it doesn’t vanish as fast. Which means after the heatwaves we’ve experienced of late you may have been left with an itchy rash to contend with long after temperatures have cooled.

What is heat rash?

When you get all hot and sweaty and that sweat is trapped in the skin, blisters, lumps, and bumps rise up on the surface. The type of heat rash you develop depends on how deep sweat is embedded into the pores.

The mildest form presents as tiny blisters filled with clear fluid that break open easily. But if you develop small, inflamed blister that feel itchy, it’s likely that you have miliaria rubra, a form of heat rash that is due to sweat stuck deep within the pores. Over time this can develop into an inflamed blister like rash.

And if you breakout in a rash that looks bumpy and inflamed, is red or darker than your natural skin tone then it’s likely your sweat has reached the deepest layer of the skin, the dermis and this can be somewhat painful.

Where does heat rash develop?

You’ll find heat rash generally appears in skin folds, in the neck, groin, underarms, inner elbows, behind the knees, under breasts and even on the face.

Can you prevent heat rash?

According to the NHS the best way to avoid developing heat rash is to…

  • wear loose cotton clothing
  • use lightweight bedding
  • take cool baths or showers
  • drink plenty of fluid to avoid dehydration

How do you treat heat rash?

Avoid hot baths and showers and cleanse the skin with hypoallergenic cleansers that are designed for sensitive skin types. A cold compress can help relive itching, as can calamine lotion. If your heat rash is especially uncomfortable antihistamines can help relive swelling and itching.

Keep your skincare simple if you’re suffering from heat rash on your face and neck, your skin is likely to be more sensitive, so ditch your active packed serums. However, if your rash doesn’t clear after a couple of days, use a gently BHA or AHA liquid exfoliant to cut through pores and eliminate sweat from the skin.

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