How to Beat Heat Rash This Summer
What is Heat Rash?
Is there anything worse than enjoying a day out in the sun and coming home to inflamed skin? The first step to beating heat rash is understanding what it is and why it happens. At its core, heat rash is the result of moisture, sweat, heat, and friction all acting together to irritate and inflame parts of your body. Think of what happens if you wear a wet bathing suit or other wet clothes for too long. It’s the same effect.
The more you move and work out during the summer, the more you typically sweat. Even sedentary people sweat more under the harsh summer sun. If left by itself, all that sweat gets together and causes an unpleasant reaction on your skin.
Heat rash, known medically as Miliaria, is caused when tiny sweat glands get covered by skin. It presents differently for different people, but typically appears as red bumps, blisters, and patches that are itchy and demand to be scratched. Heat rash usually appears on the rib cage, underarms, and thighs. However, heat rash can appear anywhere, including inner arms, around the waist, under breasts, and behind knees.
How to Prevent and Treat Heat Rash
Prevention is always better than the cure. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to prevent heat rash:
1. Take a cold shower and rinse off straight after a workout to reduce sweating
2. Wear loose fitting clothes made from breathable fabrics such as cotton and keep skin cool with air conditioning and fans
3. Keep trouble areas such as your inner thighs safe with products designed to prevent irritation and chafing
4. Change out of your wet swimwear or other clothes as soon as you can
If you’ve already got a rash and don’t know what to do, then don’t despair. There are several things you can do at home to make things better. Heat rashes typically resolve themselves when you avoid heat and cool your skin. However, if the problem persists or there are signs of infection, you should consult a healthcare professional.
Before you get too worried, here are some things you can do to soothe your aching skin:
1. Take a bath with colloidal oatmeal and talcum powder
2. Apply a cold compress to your skin
3. Treat your skin with a salicylic acid-based wash
4. Avoid scratching and irritating your heat rash as this can cause infections
5. Use a low-potency hydrocortisone cream to reduce infection and heal skin
Heat rash is an annoying problem but it typically resolves itself. Stay cool, stay fresh, and talk to a doctor if you think it’s gotten serious.