Heat Rashes in Babies

by Sam Malone

A heat rash is quite a common occurrence in children as well as adults especially during the summer months. Also known as prickly heat or miliaria, heat rashes are a lot more common in babies and infants than they are in adults.

As the name suggests, these rashes occur when the surrounding heat causes the body temperature to go very high. Therefore, heat rashes are usually seen in babies and toddlers who sweat a lot. In most cases, these rashes are seen on the baby’s face, arms and legs. However, if the rash is severe, it could also appear on the hips, back, tummy, neck and the other parts of the body. Some of the symptoms of heat rashes in babies include:
  • Small blisters or bumps that pop easily
  • Appearance of lesions
  • Lack or perspiration or little perspiration in the area
  • Intense itching an prickly feeling
Heat rashes usually go away on their own, without any treatment but the severe rashes may require some medical care. While most cases of heat rashes in babies are not a serious concern, they can cause your little on to experience a lot of discomfort. Therefore, it is important that you treat the rash as soon as possible. Given below are some common prickly heat solutions for baby rashes:

  1. Allow your Baby to Cool Off: Take off or loosen your little one’s clothing and place him in a cool place or a shaded spot. Try to keep your baby on a cotton towel, so that the excessive sweat gets absorbed, instead of staying on the skin.
  2. Soothe the skin: Ease the itching on the skin, by running a cool compress or a wet towel over the affected part of the skin. Repeat this exercise a few times during the day.
  3. Give the Baby a Bath: Fill your bathtub with some lukewarm water and add about 2 teaspoons of baking soda to it. Let your baby soak in the bathtub for about ten minutes, to relieve the itching on the skin.
  4. Air-Dry your Baby: After a shower or a bath, do not rub your baby’s skin with a towel to dry him off. Instead, let him air dry, so that his body temperature comes down. You could also apply a some cornmeal or oatmeal on to your baby’s skin after a bath, as these ingredients absorb the excess water on the skin and give your baby immediate relief from the itching.
  5. Keep the Room Cool: Make sure that you turn on the fan or the air conditioner when your baby sleeps. However, the cold air should not be aimed directly at your baby, or he could catch a chill. Ensure that your baby is comfortably cool, but not cold.
  6. Avoid Creams and Ointments: Many parents apply creams and ointments on their baby’s skin to soothe a heat rash. However, these ointments only block the pores and further aggravate the problem. Instead of commercial creams, apply some fresh Aloe Vera gel on the affected part of the skin three times a day. Calamine lotion is also quite effective in soothing a heat rash in babies.
  7. Dress your Baby Appropriately: Chaffing is one of the biggest causes of heat rashes and therefore, you need to choose your little one’s clothes carefully. Make sure that your child wears clothes that are loose, cool and comfortable. Avoid clothes that are made from synthetic fabrics.
While these home remedies are quite safe when used correctly, it is best to check with a doctor before trying any of them. In case the heat rash does not get better in spite of using these remedies, it is important to consult a doctor.

References:
  1. Miliaria. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for HealthCare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec10/ch118/ch118e.html. Accessed Nov. 20, 2011.
  2. Miliaria. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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