Baby Heat Rash: Why Does It Appear And How to Prevent It?

baby heat rash. a mom and her baby

Baby heat rash is a skin disease caused by increased sweating in infants. How to distinguish symptoms of heat rash from allergies? What preventive measures to take and how to treat the rash? These and other questions are discussed in the article.

What Is Baby Heat Rash?

Heat rash is a skin rash that occurs in response to overheating of the body. Gentle skin is a problem area in newborns. It is saturated with moisture, and the sweat glands are not yet fully formed and cannot bring the sweat to the surface. It can occur at any age, even in adults, but children under one year are more prone to this problem because of delicate and thin skin.

Baby heat rash is skin irritation that most often manifests itself in hot or humid weather, if the child is heavily wrapped up or dressed warmly.

How Does Baby Heat Rash Look Like?

Heat rash is a skin irritation, manifested by redness and rash. It is represented by pink and red spots, a rash on the skin. Vesicles (bubbles filled with clear liquid) may occur as well. Quickly bursting and drying out, they form an unpleasant crust.

Most often baby heat rash affects the folds – knees, elbows, underarm area. Also, very  often rash is located on the neck, groin, face and buttocks, back and tummy.

baby heat rash

Signs of Heat Rash in a Baby

  • Small red or hot pink rash. This rash often occurs in places that are in contact with clothing.
  • Skin itching. Sometimes heat rash in children itches. Scratching of the skin can form crusts.
  • Increased sweating.
  • “Weeping” skin.

Symptoms of baby heat rash can often be confused with manifestations of other diseases that are characterized by a rash. If you have doubts that this is exactly heat rash, it is better to consult a doctor.

Causes of Baby Heat Rash

  • Inadequate hygiene care. Skin contamination leads to the reproduction of pathogenic microflora and impaired excretory function of the skin.
  • Excessive perspiration and delayed evaporation of sweat also lead to bacterial proliferation and rash.
  • Overheating. If a child is too warmly dressed in hot weather, the mechanism of heat transfer is disturbed, a greenhouse effect occurs and a heat rash appears under clothes or a diaper.
  • Application of fatty creams. Nutritious fatty creams form a cover that can impair the respiratory functions of the skin.
  • Infection. Heat rash can also occur during an infectious disease, since a rise in temperature is also often accompanied by excessive sweating.

baby heat rash. Young mother applying talc to a baby

Care Mistakes Leading to Skin Irritation

  • Clothing made of synthetic fabrics (except fleece).
  • Rare change of disposable diapers.
  • The temperature in the nursery is too high, or the baby is dressed too warm.
  • The baby is rarely given air baths.
  • Baby skin care with the use of low-quality cosmetics.
  • Not very frequent water treatments.
  • Excessive enthusiasm for cosmetics during bathing, including soap.

Sometimes skin irritation occurs after an illness when the baby has a fever. But it usually disappears within 2–3 days. Sometimes, after an illness, an allergic rash appears after the heat rash. This is usually a reaction to the drugs that were given to the child. After an antihistamine course prescribed by the doctor, such a rash disappears without a trace, not causing serious concerns for the baby.

How to Distinguish Baby Heat Rash from an Allergy?

Sometimes heat rash resembles diathesis. But unlike allergies, heat rash is characterized by redness of the skin without inflammation. Heat rash occurs most often where sweat accumulates, that is, in the folds of the skin. With proper care, it disappears within 2–3 days. At the same time, allergy is characterized by inflammation, redness, itching, etc. It often affects the face (especially the cheeks), as well as the stomach and neck. An allergy is usually manifested by red pimples and peeling of the skin. Unlike baby heat rash, allergies give the child anxiety. The baby does not sleep well, is itching and trying to scratch reddened areas that can be reached. Allergic rash does not disappear within a few days.

baby heat rash. a crying baby

Allergies and heat rash are varieties of dermatitis, so they are sometimes similar. Consult your doctor if there is an extensive lesion, or if you do not like the appearance of the rash. Keep in mind that newborns require special attention.

How Is Baby Heat Rash Manifested?

Heat rash can take up large areas of the skin, and can manifest itself in the form of single pimples. It can be localized in a specific area of ​​the skin or spread throughout the body. Usually the rash quickly passes with proper hygienic care.

If you doubt that a child has heat rash, you can find pics of baby heat rash on the Internet. But it is better to consult a doctor, especially if the rash is accompanied by fever, lack of appetite or problems with the gastrointestinal tract. Keep in mind that it is difficult to diagnose heat rash in children by a photo. Symptoms of the disease and the nature of the rash should be assessed by a dermatologist.

A Doctor Can Make the Right Diagnosis

The syndromes of many skin diseases are similar, and without a doctor, it can be difficult to figure out what is going on. Some pimples in newborns are of physiological nature. They are associated with the hormonal restructuring of the mother’s body. They are absolutely not dangerous and disappear within 24 hours. In general, they do not require any treatment.

If your child has heat rash, pay attention to the care of the baby, otherwise diaper rash or diaper dermatitis may occur. And this is a big problem for a baby. Moms sometimes confuse baby heat rash with other skin diseases, including infectious ones. Its manifestations may also resemble the symptoms of herpes, candidiasis and acne. Keep in mind that baby heat rash is always caused by rubbing of the skin on clothes or a disposable diaper.

baby heat rash. a family at the doctor

What’s the Danger?

In general, baby heat rash is not dangerous at all. If adults notice it in time and change the approach to baby skin care, the manifestations will quickly disappear. But this is an excellent basis for other infections. Therefore, if heat rash is not treated (and most importantly, the causes of its occurrence are not eliminated), inflammation develops, pustules appear, the body temperature rises and the child’s condition worsens.

Treatment of Baby Heat Rash

Baby heat rash usually goes away quickly and can be treated at home, often without even involving a doctor.

  • The first remedy for heat rash in a child is to maintain a comfortable temperature condition in the room and proper hygienic care of baby skin. A child should not be wrapped up and overheated; every day, let the skin breathe without diapers.
  • What to do if heat rash is already appeared? Use special creams and ointments (consult a doctor), baby powder, talc, which will dry the baby’s skin and cure rashes. If you apply a moisturizing or protective cream, especially under a diaper, its layer must be very thin, otherwise a cover will form on the skin, preventing the skin from breathing.
  • One of the ways to cure heat rash is to bathe the baby in the bathroom with the addition of chamomile, celandine, St. John’s wort, or a weak solution of potassium permanganate.

If you have tried all means, but baby heat rash does not disappear, contact a dermatologist, as the accession of a bacterial infection is possible. Heat rash in a complicated form will require the appointment of antibacterial and antihistamine drugs, as well as immunomodulatory agents.

baby heat rash. baby talc

Preventive Measures

  • During the day, wash your baby after changing a diaper, and in the evening bathe in the bathroom.
  • When bathing, wash the baby with only appropriate means.
  • Arrange air bathes for a baby every day. This is an excellent tool for the prevention of skin irritation.
  • Dress your baby only in natural or fleece fabrics. Do not forget to regularly change diapers.
  • Use means that manufacturers call “under the diaper.” They protect the skin of the child in the gluteal region, do not allow irritation to develop, and if it suddenly appeared, they help to correct the situation very quickly.

Most often, baby heat rash is the result of improper care for the baby. If irritation persists, make sure to consult a doctor.

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