The first time you encounter a prickly heat rash covering certain body parts of your baby can be very worrisome. You are not prepared – all of a sudden your baby is covered with little bumps, which you might think a fatal disease. You start to panic and ask questions like, 'What is this?' 'Where and how did he/she get it?' 'How can I treat this?'
Of course, you cannot treat something, which you do not know. Let’s get started with familiarizing ourselves with these angry little bumps.
This prickly heat rash is also known as heat rash or miliaria. It causes red, pimple-like skin eruption that is most probably caused when your child overheats under exposure to hot and humid weather. So, if you cannot understand how your baby suddenly develops red pimple-like rashes on his/her body parts such as arms, neck, or near the edges of his/her nappy or underwear, do not get panic immediately. This can be a heat rash, and heat rash is often treatable.
You can see these prickly rashes most often under the folds of your baby’s skin, or on certain parts where his/her clothes fit snugly such as neck, abdomen, armpits, and groin. These rashes can even be seen on your baby’s such as on scalp and forehead head especially when he/she always wears child hats. For infants, the same parts can also be invaded with rashes.
The answer is NO. While it is true that these rashes can appear detrimental and dangerous, they do not cause anything harmful to your child. However, heat rash can be a symptom that your child is too hot. If you do not take necessary actions treating this, these prickly heat rash may progress into serious illness or diseases like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or dehydration. Dehydration can be a very dangerous condition caused by a much higher temperature that results in loss of water.
No. These rashes do not cause any pain to your baby. However, they are very itchy, and they can give your baby an intense stinging and pricking sensation. Your baby might scratch himself vigorously. For you to avoid infection and further damage, it is good to trim your baby’s nails.
As mentioned, the hot and humid weather is the culprit. When it is hot and humid outside, your baby sweats as one way to cool his body down. But sometimes, when it gets really hot, he/she sweats too much that his skin pores become clogged. When this happens, the sweats cannot get out, resulting in prickly heat rash. This phenomenon happens most often to babies because, at this period, their sweat glands are still in the process of developing.
Other factors can also reinforce too much sweat or the clogging of the pores. This includes over dressing, exposure to very high temperature, or moving/playing around in a hot environment. Take note that infants are much prone to this, so you are not advised to overdress your baby. Heavy clothing or tight clothes can block the pores from releasing sweat as well as can contribute to the skin irritation.
There are also baby products that are proven to clog baby’s pores, such as baby oils, baby lotion, Ghee, and other lubricated materials that mothers use to massage their babies.
There is one way to avoid clogging your baby’s pores even using baby lotions and baby oils. Make sure that you give your baby a good bath after the massage session. Bathing your baby washes off the oil and lotion residues that can cause skin clogs.
Heat rash usually clears up after few days unless it gets worse and infected. Meanwhile, there are things you can do to relieve your baby from discomfort:
• Keep him cool
Since hot environments cause heat rashes, you need to expose your baby to cool and airy room, or when she’s outside, to shady areas. Do not make him exhausted from walking or playing, to avoid sweating too much. Always monitor her sweats and keep her hydrated by giving her something to drink.
When you go out under the summer heat, always cover your baby’s head. You can even use something to cool her down such as a mini fan.
When the sun is too hot, and the outside environment has a very high temperature. We encourage you to stay indoors because even a summer wind can dehydrate your baby.
• Dress him appropriately
Synthetic fabrics trap heat. So rather than using polyester or nylon fabrics, use cotton instead. Always make sure that your baby’s clothing is not tight. Loosen her clothes a bit so that moving doesn’t require too much energy.
• Avoid carrying him all the time
Holding your baby all the time contribute to the heat she might experience. The less you carry her, the cooler she remains.
• Keep his skin fresh
You can cool the reached skin using cold and wet wash clothes. You can also give her a bath with lukewarm water. After bathing, make sure that her skin is dry. A little more nude time can be helpful.
• Calamine lotion
You can use calamine lotion to treat your baby whenever she gets irritated and cries after touching her skin. Apply it in generous amount avoiding her eyes.
• Hydrocortisone cream
When the rash is severe, you can use hydrocortisone cream. Make sure it is recommended by your doctor.
When your baby has a very high temperature, you need to ask assistance from your doctor. Avoid giving him aspirin as it can cause a threatening condition like Reye’s syndrome. Aside from high temperature (over 102 degrees Fahrenheit), other alarming situations that need doctor’s help include:
It is true that this prickly heat rash doesn’t cause harm. However, if it is untreated, this can develop into something serious. You can do what we advised to keep your avoid infecting the rashes and to keep your baby comfortable for the time being. If symptoms like the high fever are already prevailing, contact your doctor immediately. Remember that prevention is better than cure. So, practice what we advised to avoid developing baby’s heat rash.
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