- What is Heat Rash?
- Causes of Child Heat Rash
- Types of Heat Rash
- Symptoms of Child Heat Rash
- Treatment Heat Rash on Baby
- evention Heat Rash in Babies
- When You Go to the Doctor
What is Heat Rash?
Heat rash is child skin irritation caused by increased perspiration when sweat evaporation process is slow.
Causes of Child Heat Rash
Imagine: a baby has been in the mother’s womb for whole nine months, he has got used to a certain environment – water, and after the birth he has to adapt to the new ambience and fit in it. While the baby gets used to everything, all the systems in his small organism work unlike the ones of adults, and it is true for sweat glands, too.
When the baby gets hot, his sweat glands begin to produce some special liquid discharge, thus preventing the organism from overheating. And if there are any obstacles to normal perspiration, for example, the baby is dressed warm, or swaddled tightly, or his skin is covered with too thick layer of lotion, then the discharge begins to gradually accumulate in the glands. It quickly gets reflected on the skin – it becomes bright pink and small reddish rash appears.
But child heat rash is not caused only by improper care. During illness, when body temperature rises, babies sweat a lot, and it also quickly gets reflected on the tender child skin.
Most commonly, newborns get heat rash in places which get the least ventilation (behind the ears, in the neck and leg folds, in elbow folds, on top of back and chest). The spots do not grow in size eventually, and if you start fighting heat rash immediately and properly, the irritation disappears soon.
Types of Heat Rash
There are the following types of heat rash:
Red Heat Rash
It is somewhat similar to hives. The rash looks like knots or bubbles, but necessarily the single ones. The skin around each knot or bubble is red. Unlike crystal rash, the single red heat rash elements do not fuse. During red heat rash, there is itch and strong soreness in the rash area.
Child crystal heat rash has somewhat different symptoms than red heat rash. Small bubbles filled with liquid appear on the baby skin, and they are located close to each other. This type of heat rash does not bring any discomfort to the baby and disappears in 2-3 days.
Apart from these two types, there are some more types, but these happen in cases of complications, when a secondary infection is involved. White heat rash is when instead of the clear water there is white liquid in the bubbles. In case of yellow heat rash, the liquid in the bubbles has yellowish color. In that case, you must necessarily see a doctor in order to avoid bad consequences.
Symptoms of Child Heat Rash
In most cases, babies experience heat rash appears because of abundant perspiration. It can happen as a result of significant overheating, say, it is hot outside and the baby is dressed warm, or the baby got cold and has fever.
Baby red heat rash is followed by small size rash (1-4 mm) on knee and elbow folds. It takes longer to treat red heat rash compared to crystal rash – about 2-2.5 weeks, however, with the proper care and with measures taken in time, it can pass quicker.
Toddler heat rash may be reflected not only in rash and discomfort. The baby sleeps bad, becomes capricious, wiggly and cannot make himself comfortable. If you notice such symptoms and, after examining his body, find rash, you can right away diagnose heat rash; especially if you know what heat rash looks like, it will be easy to distinguish it from other illnesses.
How Should I Treat Heat Rash? Treatment
It would be no problem, since curing child heat rash is mainly about hygiene, but if there are signs of inflammation on the skin, it is an open channel for various types of bacteria and fungus. That is why you need to cure heat rash as soon as possible, because otherwise the treatment may stretch out in time for months or, if there are complications, even longer.
Toddler heat rash treatment is mainly about breastfeeding. If the mom feeds the baby herself, not from a bottle, the illness will pass quicker. That is because breast milk contains the elements which baby needs the most, and it is breast milk that helps protect the baby from bacteria and complications.
Next thing is, you need to eliminate the reason why the baby got heat rash. And since heat rash appears as a result of increased perspiration, you need to make it so that the baby does not sweat.
If you use lotion or powder-cream for your child, it is better to stop doing it for the period of heat rash. A layer of lotion impedes skin respiration, and sweat gets accumulated in the glands. It is better to switch from using lotion to powder: it will absorb the excess moisture, and the child will sweat less. Even if the child has heat rash on his face, anyway, you can carefully apply powder to the skin so that it does not get into the eyes. It is better to firstly apply talc on your hands, and then to the baby skin.
When bathing your child, you should add herbal decoction to the water; chamomile or bur-marigold would suit well. But the best would be to mix those herbs in equal portions, take 6 tbsp. of it, add 1 liter of boiling water, let it stay for a while and filter it through cheesecloth. Make new brew prior to each bath; do not use the brew you have already made second time.
Another brew that helps is the one made of black currant twigs, which you can cut at your garden in any season. You could also use potassium permanganate solution, but remember it would make skin dry and irritate it a little. If you do not have any herbs, you can just take 1 tbsp. of starch, dissolve it in 1 l of water and rinse the baby skin with it after bathing. The solution will form a protective film on the baby skin, which will absorb excess moisture while skin is drying off.
Do not dress your child up right after bathing, wait till the skin is dry and moisture is absorbed, and then apply powder to the irritated zones and let the child lay in fresh air for a little. Sometimes they recommend apply zinc oxide powder to the skin, or, in especially severe cases, salicylic-zinc ointment, but such measures may take place only with the doctor’s prescription.
Now, when you know how to treat baby heat rash, you will be able to take action with the first signs of it. But it is much easier to take preventive measures; then you will not need to cure it at all.
Prevention Heat Rash in Babies
If you know what child heat rash looks like and know it from real life, you will probably not want to deal with it another time. That is why you need to put especial effort in prevention. Since you pretty much cannot completely protect the child from heat, be very attentive to his delicate skin.
Most commonly, toddlers get heat rash in summer, so, pay special attention to fighting moisture.
Dress your child up in accordance with the weather; it is better to put two light blouses on instead of one warm, so that you are able to take one off if it gets hot. Do not try to enwrap your baby in clothes not only for going outside, but at home as well.
The baby will not get heat rash if you bathe him often. In summer it is better if you do it daily; during winter you can do it less frequently.
When You Go to the Doctor
In some rare cases, because of an improper care, it is necessary to get the doctor’s help. If heat rash did not pass in 2-3 days, and you see that the child is irritated, the spots grew bigger, and the liquid in the bubbles is not clear, but white, yellowish or any other color, it means there are complications. In this case you must see a doctor immediately. The pediatrician will prescribe some treatment and medicine, which you cannot take on your own.
Remember: even if you know what baby heat rash looks like, you can always mistake it for allergy, hives, chickenpox or another viral disease followed by rash. One of the reasons for heat rash can be exudative diathesis. Only doctor can identify the actual reason. So, if you have any doubts, it is better to see a doctor to know for sure what to do and how to treat it. You should do it at least for your own calmness and for your child’s health.