What You Need to Know About Heat Rash

It’s no surprise that heat rash is more common during the summer months, but do you even know what heat rash is or what causes it?

Our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team shares some helpful information on this rash type below, so keep reading!

  • What heat rash is: Heat rash (also known as prickly heat) develops when blocked pores trap perspiration under your skin. Symptoms range from superficial blisters to deep, red lumps, and some forms of heat rash cause a prickly sensation.

  • Why heat rash is caused: Heat rash develops when some of your sweat ducts clog, which can be caused by excessive sweating. Instead of evaporating, perspiration gets trapped beneath the skin, causing inflammation and rash.

  • Here’s what to do about it: The first thing you need to do is cool off. Cooling your skin typically causes heat rash to quickly fade.

  • What to do next: Apply cold to the rash. Whether you choose a cold compress, cool showers or damp cloth, cold water can bring immediate relief and can help stop swelling, ease itching and slow the progression of a rash.

  • What to do after: If your skin has been cool for several hours and the rash still hasn’t faded, your rash may require skin ointments (like calamine lotion) or OTC antihistamines, such as hydroxyzine and diphenhydramine, to relieve the itching.

  • Action steps to take: To avoid future occurrences of heat rash, avoid strenuous outdoor exercise when it’s hot outside, stay cool indoors, dry your skin thoroughly after sweating and wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes.

  • When to visit the doctor for heat rash: See your doctor if you have symptoms that last longer than a few days, the rash seems to be getting worse, or you notice signs of infection, such as increased pain, swelling, redness or warmth around the affected area.

  • Doctor recommendations: Remember to drink lots of water—especially during the summer months! Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body, regardless of the time of year.

Are you dealing with heat rash? If so, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team to get the treatment you need.