Little boy sitting on potty with mother sitting in front of him

Baby Heat Rash

Baby Heat Rash

What is heat rash?

Heat rash, also known as miliaria or prickly heat, is made up of tiny red bumps. This rash can erupt around baby’s neck, arms, and around the edges of their diaper or underwear when the temperature rises.

Causes of heat rash on baby skin

When the climate warms up, a baby’s undeveloped sweat glands can become blocked. This leads to swelling, causing itchy and red bumps. A baby can also develop heat rash when well-meaning parents dress them too warmly and snugly.

You will likely see the rash develop in the folds of baby’s skin and in parts of the body where clothing is tight.

Is heat rash serious?

Heat rash can be a sign that your baby is too warm.

While it is not a painful or serious condition, it may indicate more serious conditions such as fever, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. The itchiness can also irritate your baby and make them more fussy than normal. Do not fret though as heat rash is very common in babies, especially during the summer months.

How to treat heat rash?

A few simple steps to keep your baby’s temperature down in warm weather can go a long way in caring for their skin:

             Start by dressing them in looser cotton clothing to allow the skin to breath.

             Avoid applying any lotions or ointments as these can block their pores and make heat rash worse.

             Use gentle wipes or a wet cloth to clean the affected areas.

             If your baby sweats, pat them dry with a clean towel to absorb away the moisture.

             Air out the affected areas every time you do a diaper change. Let baby’s skin breathe by giving them some time in just their diapers

             Place a cold, clean, wet washcloth on the rash to help soothe the irritation.

             Air dry instead of rubbing the baby’s skin with a towel.

             If it’s hot indoors, use an air conditioner or fan in the baby’s room Direct the air flow near them but not directly at them for a gentle breeze.

             Trim your baby’s nails or place loose socks on their hands to prevent them from scratching the area at night.

How can I prevent heat rash?

             Keep your baby’s skin folds dry after bath time and during warm days.

             Keep your baby cool, especially in warmer, humid weather. Remember to check baby regularly to see if they are overheating. While their hands and toes may feel cool to touch, damp skin may indicate that they are too warm.

             Dress them in layers that you can put on and take off. Lighter, looser clothing made of natural fabrics – such as cotton – is preferred over more abrasive and synthetic cloths such as polyester. Natural fabrics are generally more absorbent than synthetics and allow the baby to sweat more efficiently. Diapers with plastic liners should also be avoided.

             Make sure the baby is well hydrated on hot days. Keep them in cool, shady areas if you plan to take them outside.

When should I consult a doctor?

Not every rash is a heat rash. It is a good idea to check with your health care professional if you are in any doubt, or if any of the following occur:

             The bumps fill with pus – this may indicate an infection and will require further treatment

             The rash lasts more than 2-3 days

             The rash is accompanied with a fever or baby is not feeding well

Most heat rashes will go away themselves in a few days when the baby remains cool.

For more information on rashes, take a look at our nappy rash, eczema and dry skin pages for more baby skincare tips.

The information published herein is intended and strictly only for informational, educational, purposes and the same shall not be misconstrued as medical advice. If you are worried about your own health, or your child’s well being, seek immediate medical advice. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website. Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries assumes no liability for the interpretation and/or use of the information contained in this article. Further, while due care and caution has been taken to ensure that the content here is free from mistakes or omissions, Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information here, and to the extent permitted by law, Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries do not accept any liability or responsibility for claims, errors or omissions.


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