Heat rash, sometimes called prickly heat, is a common skin condition in infants and young children and occurs when the pores of the sweat glands become blocked. It is seen more often in infants as their pores are much smaller than those on an adult. Heat rashes are typically small pink or red bumps found on the neck and shoulders, and in skin folds on the legs or arms. While the rash will usually clear within a few days on its own, there are simple ways to treat it and prevent it from returning.
Take your infant out of the heat. Bring her to a shaded location, or indoors near a fan or air conditioner.
Remove any heavy clothing so that the heat rash is exposed to the air.
Dab the rash gently with a washcloth soaked in cool water. While this is not completely necessary, it will reduce the itchiness and irritation that a heat rash can cause.
Allow the area to air dry. Be sure that if the rash is located in a skin crease, such as the armpit or behind the knee, that the skin is separated to allow it to dry properly.
Apply hydrocortisone cream only if its use has been approved by a pediatrician. The cream can help reduce swelling and itching while the rash heals.
Things You'll Need
Hydrocortisone cream (optional)
Dress your infant in weather-appropriate clothing. During hot weather, try to dress the child in breathable and absorbent fabrics, such as cotton. Keep your infant's fingernails trimmed short while she has a heat rash. This will keep her from scratching the area and irritating it further.
Heat rash indicates that your baby is too warm. Overheating is dangerous, particularly for infants, so always be aware of your baby's temperature. Avoid using many topical creams and powders on your child, as these can clog pores and hinder healing. If you notice pus or cracked skin in the area of the rash, or if your child develops a fever, contact your pediatrician. If the rash does not clear within 5 days, consult your pediatrician.