Heat rash, also known as sweat rash, commonly affects infants, especially during hot, humid spells. It occurs in areas of the skin with folds such as armpits, neck and groin, although it can occur in different parts of the body too, such as the back. It can cause irritation and in some cases, fever, which makes your baby fussy and uncomfortable. While mild cases are easy to handle and clear up on their own, full-blown rashes can cause significant disturbance and should be treated urgently.
Causes and Treatment of Heat Rash in Babies
Causes of Infant Heat Rash
Understanding the circumstances that favor heat rash are a crucial step in preventing it from occurring in the first place. The most common causes of baby rash include:
Many parents are at a crossroads when it comes to deciding just how much clothing is appropriate for the baby. Some will dress their babies in multiple layers of clothing, driven by the fear of exposing them to the cold. Others will dress babies under insufficient layers, associating their fussiness with sweat, which is not always the case. If you are not sure your baby’s clothes are appropriate for the weather, check out for a wide collection of quality baby clothes suitable for all seasons. You can also gauge how to dress your baby based on your own experience; if you are feeling hot, chances are your baby feels the same.
2. High Temperatures
Sweat rash is most prevalent during summers, especially when accompanied by humid conditions. Sometimes, there little to be done, especially in the outdoors, apart from dressing your baby lightly. However, the indoor temperatures can be adjusted by allowing free air circulation in homes without air-conditioning facilities. Alternatively, fans can be used to facilitate better air-flow in the house. Air-conditioned homes do not face much temperature problems unless your air-conditioning machine is faulty.
Many ailments cause significant body temperature raises in babies. Some common conditions that could raise a baby’s temperature include throat infections, ear infections, pneumonia, colds, flu, among others. Sweating during illness is the body’s natural temperature relieving mechanism and is crucial for the healing process. As long as your baby is under medication, the fever should subside, relieving the rash. High temperatures in babies are serious and can quickly turn disastrous if unchecked. They can precede life-threatening conditions.
There are many treatment options to heal baby rash, depending on its severity. Understanding your baby’s rash is necessary to find appropriate treatment. Baby heat rash can be mild or severe.
1. Mild Heat Rash
Heat rash is assumed to be mild when it covers a small area and causes minimum discomfort to your baby. Managing and treating a mild heat rash involves:
- Keeping the affected area dry to avoid further irritation.
- Avoiding oils and lotions which form a barrier over the skin and clog your baby’s pores.
- Use light, minimal clothing on your baby until the rash clears up.
- Avoid bathing your baby with strongly scented soaps which can irritate their skin.
2. Severe Heat Rash
Sometimes, babies develop heat rash complications that require medical attention. These conditions include persistent redness, swelling and pus, which can indicate infection. Your paedetrician will prescribe medication based on their assessment and could be anything from antibacterial, antifungal or anti-inflammatory medicines.