Does your child have small white spots on his or her chest, neck, or shoulders? Are you experiencing prickly, itching spots in the bend of the elbow, the groin, or the armpit area? These symptoms are indicators that heat rash may have developed.
On the surface, it would seem that heat rash is simply caused by heat. The answer to the question "what are the causes of heat rash?" is actually a bit more complex. Experienced Huntington, NY dermatologist Dr. Roger Koreen discusses with patients the various factors that may come into play on the skin.
While there is a very real risk that heat rash may occur during times in which the weather is hot and humid, there are additional causes that may explain an outbreak of prickly skin. Some people become excessively warm while they sleep, whether due to overdressing for bed or sleeping beneath heavy bedding. Long periods in bed such as may occur during a time of sickness or fever, can produce heat rash, as can intense exercise and excessive sweating. In small children and newborns, immature sweat glands that have yet to fully develop are often to blame for this condition.
The problem with heat rash is more than the discomfort it may cause. We also need to consider the potential for infection from bacteria present on the skin. In many cases, heat rash can improve by cooling the skin and body. However, it is also beneficial to assess the possible reasons that pores have become clogged, trapping sweat and causing heat rash.
Some of the steps that may be taken at home include applying cold compresses or calamine lotion to irritated skin. Calamine lotion is not drying but also does not block pores from letting sweat escape normally. Lotions, ointments, or creams with a mineral oil or petroleum base should be avoided. Cool showers or soaking for a short time in cool water can also relieve itching. As the body cools, skin irritation should decrease.
What we can do for heat rash
Medical treatment is typically only needed for complications or more severe heat rash that does not respond right away to home care. In our office, we may recommend a suitable lotion to relieve itching and unclog pores so that sweat may resume to a normal flow. If needed, medication for infection may also be prescribed.
Dr. Roger Koreen and his team offer gentle, effective care to relieve discomfort and promote healthy skin. Call our office today to schedule your consultation and examination.
Last Updated - July 2015
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