What is a heat rash?
Heat rash is a condition which occurs not because of direct exposure towards heat but because the sweat glands were prevented from secreting sweat as a response to the heat in the surrounding environment. It often takes place in areas which has been covered in rather tight clothing in a warmer environment or else in sunny outdoors. The condition although discomforting at the beginning would gradually go off without any complications in most instances. But, in certain instances, there is a possibility of such heat rashes to become secondarily infected and in such instances, immediate measures have to be taken to treat the infection without letting it progress further.
Who can develop heat rashes?
The condition can be seen commonly among infants and babies whom are dressed too warmly although it can be present even in healthy adults as well. Certain groups of individuals have shown to be more susceptible towards developing heat rashes and among them patients who are bed ridden and the babies who are in the incubator will be highly susceptible.
Where do heat rashes appear?
When a heat rash appears in the body, it will most often be confined to skin folds which have been covered with a tight garment or else even a diaper in the case of an infant. Thus, armpit, groin, back of the neck, torso, shoulders, back of the knee…etc are common regions for heat rashes to appear although it may appear in other regions as well.
What are the main features of a possible heat rash?
The main feature of the heat rash would be the appearance of red pin head like bumps in relation to a skin fold and this would appear in clusters in most instances. Pimple like eruptions can also be possible although there would not be any pus formation as seen in acne. The surrounding skin can be seen as reddened, although in instances it may be rather normal in appearance.
When it comes to infants, the rash may appear as tiny dots and the term ‘milliae’ is used to describe such rashes.
A person suffering from a heat rash will complain that the area feels like ‘prickly’ or burning in sensation which derives the name ‘prickly heat’ to describe such heat rashes. When such rashes take place on the groin, it will be difficult for a person to walk as friction between the surfaces will give rise to a discomforting pain and irritation.
In most instances, a heat rash would not be associated with other manifestations such as swelling, joint pain, fever, blistering…etc although these can take place if heat rash becomes secondarily infected with bacterial organisms later on.