Heat rash

21 October 2016
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Category: First Aid
21 October 2016, Comments: 0

Heat rash is a reddened or pinkish rash typically found on body parts covered by clothing. It usually develops once the sweat ducts are clogged and swell which often leads to itchiness and discomfort. Heat rash is prevalent among infants, but can also affect adults in warm, humid climates.

Remember that heat rash is quite common during the summer season due to the intense warmth and humidity. Always observe cooling measures to minimize the risk for developing heat rash.

What are the causes?

Among infants, heat rash can be triggered if a child is dressed too warmly by parents but can also occur during very hot weather.

An infant should be dressed comfortably. The hands and feet might feel cool to the touch but it does not mean that the child should be dressed too warmly.

Heat rash

Remember that heat rash is quite common during the summer season due to the intense warmth and humidity.

Indications of heat rash

Small-sized dots or tiny pimples appear on the head, shoulders and neck, especially among young children. The rash can become irritated by scratching the area or rubbing on clothing. In rare instances, there is a possibility for a secondary skin infection to develop.


Most cases of heat rash settle on their own. Luckily, there are measures that can help alleviate the symptoms.

  • Loosen or remove clothing and transfer to a cool, shaded area.
  • Allow the skin to air dry instead of using towels.
  • Avoid using ointments or other lotions since they can irritate the skin.

There are also measures that can help prevent future episodes of heat rash from developing such as:

  • Dress the child using a few layers of clothes as possible during warm or humid weather.
  • Always keep the skin cool and dry.
  • The bedroom or sleeping area of the child should be cool.

Once the heat rash has settled, you can gradually expose the child to warmer temperature so that his/her skin is able to acclimate.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on heat rash is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage heat-illnesses including heat rash, register for a first aid and CPR course with Toronto First Aid.

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