The skin is the body’s largest organ. It regulates body temperature while protecting the body from harmful substances and infections. The younger a baby is, the more sensitive the skin.
During hot weather, the act of sweating cools the body when temperatures rise. The sweat produced by the body’s glands evaporates to help keep the body cool.
In infants and babies, sweat glands are not fully formed. Babies’ perspiration may become trapped under their skin. Improperly working sweat glands cause heat-related illnesses including heat stroke. It is important to recognize heat rash baby symptoms as opposed to other skin irritations in order to take corrective action.
What Baby Heat Rash Is NOT
Eczema may look similar to heat rash, skin rash or an allergic reaction. However, it’s important to note that the remedies for heat rash do not apply to eczema. Some believe that eczema is a reactive defect in the skin barrier that allows moisture and germs to penetrate the surface. There are specific treatments for eczema, so correct identification is necessary.
Contact dermatitis is a diaper rash. It is commonly found in the areas that come in contact with urine and feces as well as between the skin folds. Correct recognition and prompt treatment of diaper rash are necessary so that the condition does not worsen into a bacterial or fungal infection.
During hot and humid weather, a baby’s perspiration can get trapped under the skin due to clogged pores. When this happens, tiny water bumps form. Human sweat is very high in salt and can cause skin irritations that manifest as rashes.
With a heat rash, tiny red bumps appear on various parts of the body including skin folds, neck, armpits, or buttocks. Scratching and itching may also be present .
Causes Of Heat Rash On Babies
While heat rash can develop in both adults and babies, the young are more at risk because of immature sweat ducts and their inability to communicate when they are overheating.
Some common causes of heat rash in babies include the following:
- Clogged pores
- Hot weather
- High humidity
- Excessive swaddling
- Use of heavy creams
- Use of oily lotions
- Skin friction (especially among skin folds)
Types of Heat Rash (Heat Rash Miliaria)
Heat rash symptoms vary depending on the type of rash.
- Miliaria crystallina (prickly heat rash) is the most common type of heat rash. The rash appears as small white bumps or fluid-filled blisters. This type of heat rash is usually not painful.
- Miliaria rubra manifests as red bumps that are itchy. It can be found in both children and adults.
- Miliaria profunda is the least common type of heat rash. It usually develops in adults after repeated episodes of heat rash. The lesions are flesh-colored .
Remedies For Heat Rash On Babies
Once you discover and identify your baby has heat rash, there are various ways to treat it:
- Leave the rash open to air
- Put your baby in an air-conditioned room or a room with a fan to cool the skin
- Soothe babies skin with calamine lotion
- Wipe them down with cool water. Dry the skin thoroughly.
- In cold weather, avoid overdressing your baby and overheating your home
If the rash does not go away in a few days, your child develops a fever, or the area looks infected, call a medical professional. Do not give your baby over-the-counter steroid creams without first checking with your pediatrician. Natural remedies such as aloe vera should be applied sparingly to prevent blocking the skin pores.
Remember that at this stage in your baby’s life, immature sweat ducts will factor in as your baby’s system is not fully formed.
Baby Heat Rash Prevention
Prevention is best to avoid the development of heat rash.
Heat Rash Heat Rash On Babies Prevention 101:
- During hot weather, allow your baby to enjoy the morning sun for short periods, but have them wear a broad-brimmed hat.
- During the afternoon hours, keep your baby indoors and away from direct rays of the sunlight shining through the windows.
- Choose loose-fitting clothing that allows the skin to breathe.
- Keep your baby’s skin dry at all times to avoid skin irritation.
Avoid over-swaddling in cold weather.
- Ensure that your baby is hydrated at all times.
- At nighttime, provide your baby with the appropriate sleepwear.
- When all else fail and your baby shows the heat rash baby symptom, ask your doctor about home remedies to keep your baby comfortable and cool.
- The use of harsh ingredients and synthetic formulations should be avoided unless your doctor has prescribed them for your baby’s skin.
The Bottom Line On Babies With Heat Rash
Rashes on babies are a sign of an underlying problem. First, parents must determine the origin of the rash. Sometimes, the source is easy to identify. A rash in the diaper area resulting from a soiled diaper may be solved by quicker diaper changes. Hot weather and a red rash may be a sign your baby’s skin is not breathing properly and needs to be cooled. However, always check with your doctor if you are not positive about the origin of the rash or if the condition does not heal or worsens.
Heat Rash On Babies Resources:
 US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; Skincare for your baby, Canadian Paediatric Society, March 2007.
 US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health’ Newborn Skin, Common Skin Problems, Bülent Eren, MD, Pathologist, Forensic Medicine Specialist, Associate Professor, Director of Bursa Morgue Department, Council of Forensic Medicine of Turkey Bursa Morgue Department, January 2017.