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The best ways to treat heat rash in summer

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Here’s how you can tend to this heat-related condition

This summer has brought unbearable heat to millions in the United States, and many are experiencing heat waves, which are a combination of unusually high temperatures and high humidity. Unfortunately, this type of weather can cause heat rashes, a common condition that arises during the hotter months. 

When you or a loved one develops a heat rash, it’s important to tend to it immediately to prevent further complications. Having the right supplies at home can help you treat this heat-related condition.

Shop this article: Medcosa Adult Rash Cream, Humco Calamine Lotion and Chamuel Tea Tree Oil Balm

What is heat rash?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a heat rash develops when sweat becomes trapped in the skin. This condition primarily affects babies, but adults can also get heat rashes in hot, humid weather conditions. 

Symptoms of heat rash can include the following:

  • Small blisters.
  • Inflammation.
  • Itchiness.

For adults, these symptoms typically appear where your skin folds, such as the armpits, or where clothes rub against your skin. In babies, heat rashes are found on their neck, chest and shoulders. Heat rash may also appear on the armpits, elbow creases and groin. 

There are four types of heat rash:

  • Miliaria rubra: This heat rash appears in clusters of small, inflamed blister-like bumps that cause itching.
  • Miliara crystallina: This heat rash is a clear, fluid-filled bump that doesn't cause pain or itching. This is the mildest form of heat rash.
  • Miliara pustulosa: This rash occurs when miliara rubra bumps fill with pus. 
  • Miliara profunda: The rarest type of heat rash, it develops in the deepest skin layer and can cause painful, itchy bumps resembling goose bumps. 

Risk factors of heat rash

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a few risk factors for developing heat rashes, such as:

  • Being a newborn.
  • Residing in hot, humid conditions.
  • Being physically active.
  • Long periods of bed rest while having a fever.

How to treat heat rash

Here are tips for treating and managing a heat rash, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

  • Keep skin cool and dry: Get your body temperature down using a fan or air conditioner. You can also take a cool shower and lightly pat down the affected area with a towel or let it air dry.
  • Wear breathable clothing: Wearing breathable clothing made of a material such as cotton lets air flow to your skin. Other materials, such as polyester, can trap heat, worsening heat rash.
  • Remove friction: To prevent irritation, avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing. If the heat rash is in the groin area, spend a few hours without undergarments to let the area breathe.
  • Use over-the-counter medications: You can use anti-itch medications, such as corticosteroid cream or calamine lotion, to tend to the rash. The mild forms of these medications are available over the counter at most pharmacies. 
  • Take medicine to treat fever: If the heat rash causes a fever, take over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms and bring down your body temperature. 

If your heat rash worsens and causes symptoms such as intense itching and infection or lasts longer than a week, seek medical attention.

How to prevent heat rash

Even in a heat wave, there are ways to limit your risk of developing a heat rash. 

Below are some tips for preventing heat rashes:

  • Wear lightweight, loose clothing.
  • Avoid synthetic materials and opt for cotton clothing.
  • Stay in environments with consistent, cool airflow in hot, humid climates.
  • Keep your body cool and dry.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.
  • Refrain from excessive or intense physical activity in hot, humid temperatures.

Best products for heat rash

Medcosa Adult Rash Cream

This cream relieves red, raw and itchy skin from heat rashes. It can be applied on almost every body part for relief. It acts as a barrier to retain natural moisture and keep out unwanted wetness that worsens heat rashes.  

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CeraVe Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream

Relieve itchiness from a heat rash with hydrocortisone cream. This cream contains 1% of maximum strength hydrocortisone and essential ceramides and is fragrance-free. 

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Gold Bond Friction Defense Stick

This friction stick can help prevent heat rashes. It can reduce friction and moisture and soothe the skin. It has a non-greasy, unscented formula and is safe for sensitive skin. 

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CareAll Zinc Oxide Ointment

Keep extra moisture away from your heat rash with zinc oxide ointment. This ointment seals out wetness to help your rash heal. It contains 20% zinc oxide as a skin protectant. 

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Balmex Adult Rash Cream

Get full coverage and protection with this rash cream. It has a unique formula that helps neutralize and block irritants. It contains vitamin E and zinc oxide and is paraben-free. 

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Humco Calamine Lotion

Calamine lotion can relieve itching from heat rashes. This anti-itch medication provides a cooling sensation on the skin. It also stops wounds from oozing or weeping. 

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Tylenol Extra Strength Acetaminophen Rapid Release Gels

Pain and fever are symptoms of heat rashes, so having pain medication on hand can provide relief. These 100-count gel capsules contain 500 milligrams of acetaminophen for extra-strength pain relief. It also acts as a fever reducer. Children ages 12 and older can use it.

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Domeboro Medicated Rash Relief Soak

This medicated soak dries out oozing rashes and relieves itching. It contains 12 powder packs that you’ll place in a bath to soothe your heat rash. 

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Chamuel Tea Tree Oil Balm

This balm contains 100% all-natural ingredients to relieve heat rash symptoms. It contains ingredients such as tea tree oil, green tea, peppermint oil, lavender oil, olive oil and lemon oil. It's dermatologist-tested and pediatrician-approved. 

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Calmoseptine Ointment

Protect your heat from additional wetness and speed up healing with this ointment. It contains calamine, chlorothymol, glycerin, phenol, sodium bicarbonate and thymol. Cleanse the area before applying the ointment. 

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Taneia Surles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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