Heat Rash Prevention & Treatment

Heat rash — also known as prickly heat —is a common condition in children, especially babies, but can also occur in adults. It is most likely to develop during hot, humid weather conditions.


What does heat rash look like?

Heat rash causes small red bumps to appear on the skin. It is most often located on the neck, buttocks, and skinfolds, but can appear anywhere on the body. Some forms of heat rash can leave a prickly or itchy feeling on your skin.


Why does heat rash happen?

Heat rash happens when blocked pores trap perspiration under your skin.


Is heat rash dangerous?

In most cases, heat rash is not serious and can be easily treated at home. Severe forms of this condition may need medical care. If your heat rash lasts for more than 7 days or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and body aches, contact your medical provider immediately.


How is heat rash treated?

Heat rash generally goes away on its own within 2 to 3 days. There are steps you can take to relieve the symptoms:

  • Apply over-the-counter (OTC) hydrocortisone cream 1 to 2 times per day to the rash to relieve itching. If it is a child with a heat rash, do not apply the steroid cream under the diaper. Instead, loosen the child’s diaper to help avoid rubbing on the rash area.
  • Take an OTC antihistamine medication to relieve itching
  • Apply a cool compress to the rash
  • Take a cool bath


How can I prevent heat rash in the future?

To protect yourself or your child from heat rash, follow these simple steps:

  • Avoid overdressing. Instead opt for soft, lightweight, and breathable fabrics.
  • When it’s hot and humid out, stay in the shade or in an air-conditioned building, or use a fan to circulate air.
  • Sleep in an area that is cool and well-ventilated.


At Forefront Dermatology we know that life is all about the moments when you don’t need us, that’s why we are here for all the moments when you do. If you are suffering from a skin, hair or nail condition, or simply would like to know how to achieve your ideal skin, our board-certified dermatologists are here to help.  Find a Forefront Dermatology clinic near you today.