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How To Relieve Heat Rash in a Baby?

Heat rashes are a common and harmless skin condition during the summer months. They occur mainly in babies and young children because they do not necessarily have the right behaviors to cool down (drink fluids, take a shower, go in the shade, undress ...). What are the causes of heat rashes in infants? How can they be alleviated? When should you seek professional help? You will find the answers to these questions in this article.

Heat Rash: What Is It?

This phenomenon is also known as prickly heat. It occurs mainly in hot and humid weather. It is caused by poor evaporation of sweat due to blockage of sweat glands. The resulting pimples may contain clear fluid and are often accompanied by itching. They have either the form of transparent blisters that look like water droplets or red, inflamed pimples.

Although this phenomenon can affect anyone, it is especially common in infants and young children. Heat rashes occur mainly on uncovered areas (forehead, neck, trunk, hands, feet...) and in folds such as the armpits or groin.

What Are the Causes of Heat Rashes in Babies?

Several factors can be responsible for the appearance of heat rash in infants:

  • Sweat glands that are still developing;

  • Warm and humid weather that promotes sweating;

  • Physical activity;

  • Clothing that is too warm and/or too tight, causing a lot of friction with the skin.

How To Relieve Heat Rash in Baby?

In most cases, heat rashes are harmless and disappear within 24 to 48 hours without special treatment. However, they can cause itching, which you can relieve with the following tips.

Apply cold compresses to the affected areas to give the infant immediate relief ;

Bathe or shower your infant, primarily with lukewarm water ;

Cool the infant's skin by blowing on it or with the help of an air conditioner or fan.

Since babies' skin is sensitive by nature, it is not advisable to apply creams or lotions to the pimples. This care can worsen the pimples by further clogging the channels of the sweat glands.

How Can You Prevent Heat Rash in a Baby?

First of all, babies and toddlers should be kept out of the sun as much as possible. If excursions are unavoidable, it is best to keep children in the shade and always protect them with a sunscreen.

Secondly, it is very important to dress babies in light and loose clothing when it is hot. Tight clothing could promote friction and irritate babies' skin.

Finally, care should be taken to maintain a comfortable room temperature in the children's room. Adequate hydration is also important to prevent the occurrence of heat rash.

When Should You See a Doctor?

It is advisable to take the child to the pediatrician if he or she has persistent heat rashes (longer than 72 hours), pain or swelling in the irritated area, pus-filled pimples, swollen lymph nodes, chills or even fever.

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