Heat rash

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Heat rash is described as a reddened or pinkish rash found on body parts covered by clothing. It can develop if the sweat ducts are clogged and swell and often results to itchiness and discomfort. This is quite common among infants but can occur in adults in humid, hot climates.

What are the causes?

Among infants, heat rash can be triggered by being dressed warmly, but can occur to any child during extremely warm weather.

The child must be dressed the same as an adult would be to be comfortable at the same temperature and activity level. The hands and feet of infants might feel cool to the touch but that does not indicate that they should be dressed warmly during hot weather.


Heat rash
Intensifying pain, redness, swelling or warmth around the affected area.

Heat rash is characterized by tiny pimples or dots. Among young children, heat rash can manifest in the neck, head and shoulders. The areas where the rash develops can become irritated by clothing or scratching. In rare instances, a secondary skin infection might arise.

How is it diagnosed?

The rash can be identified based on its appearance and does not necessitate medical care. In case it continues after 3 or 4 days or appears to be worsening or if the child develops fever, consult a doctor right away.

If a child has a rash, monitor for the indications of infection such as:

  • Intensifying pain, redness, swelling or warmth around the affected area
  • Drainage of pus
  • Red-colored streaks radiating from the affected area
  • Fever of 38 degrees C or higher or with chills with no other cause
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck or groin

In case any of these symptoms develop, get in touch with a doctor right away.

Management of heat rash

Most cases typically heal on their own. With the help of these measures, the symptoms can be alleviated:

  • Remove or loosen the clothes of the child and move to a shaded or cool area
  • Allow the skin to air-dry
  • Do not apply any ointments or lotions since they can irritate the skin

In case a rash has erupted, the following can prevent future episodes:

  • Make sure that the skin is dry and cool
  • The child should be dressed in a few clothes as possible during warm weather
  • Keep the sleeping area of the child cool

Once the rash has settled, gradually expose the child to warmer temperatures so that his/her skin can acclimatize.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on heat rash is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to deal with environmental issues including heat rash, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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