March 10, 2018 Source: https://www.medicinenet.com
You scratch…you scratch some more. The itchiness doesn’t seem to go away and the redness persists. You wonder what might be causing the blisters and bumps on your skin and the culprit might be a common condition called heat rash. When you hear the word “heat” you might imagine sweating, or the lack of sweating in the case of heat rash. Heat rash occurs when sweat cannot properly evaporate, instead becoming clogged underneath our skin resulting in inflammation.
There are a multitude of reasons for improper sweat evaporation including excessive sweating or physical blockage. Areas of our body where skin touches, such as the armpit or groin, makes it difficult for evaporation to occur. Tight clothing or heavy creams can also prevent evaporation. Those who are most at risk of suffering from heat rash are newborns and obese individuals with large areas skin-skin contact, such as the abdomen. Those living in hot, humid climates and those who engage in intense exercise are also at risk.
Thankfully, heat rash can be prevented. Individuals are advised against exercising in hot, humid environments. Ensure that clothing is comfortable and loose to allow proper air circulation. Lastly, take frequent showers and use air conditioning.
Most cases of heat rash can be treated by exposing the affected area to air and by use of over the counter creams. In cases of infection, individuals may feel pain and swelling. If this occurs, it is recommended for individuals to visit their health care provider or a skin specialist to determine the course of treatment. But for now, allow your skin to breathe!