Home > Kids > Childhood Safety > Outdoor Safety > Treating Heat Rash
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Treating Heat Rash

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Henry Bernstein, M.D.

Q: I have a six-year-old daughter who is bothered by heat rash. She has had this problem on and off since infancy. She complains that the bumps itch. She gets them on her face and in the middle of her back. In the summer I try to keep powder on her, but this doesn't seem to help. I've tried hydrocortisone cream (1 percent), which seems to give some relief. What else can I try? Why do these small pimples keep coming back?

A: Heat rash or prickly heat happens because sweat is retained in the blocked ducts and pores of a type of sweat gland in our skin. These blocked pores don't always allow sweat to leak out, so at times it can leak deeper into the skin, causing an inflammatory reaction. This happens most commonly when these glands are working their hardest -- in hot, humid weather, or when someone has a fever. As with your daughter, it is frequently noted in infancy. It has even been reported that infants who are warmly dressed indoors may develop this in the winter.

There is no magic treatment other than cooling off the patient. Try to regulate the temperature in her environment, keep her in minimal amounts of loose fitting clothing (so as not to be be overdressed), and use the medicines your child's doctor recommends to bring down the body's temperature if she has a fever. Cool baths may help the itch. Steroid creams and powder usually don't help, and sometimes can even worsen the situation. Avoiding anything that can further block the sweat glands is appropriate.

More on: Expert Advice

Henry Bernstein, M.D., is currently the associate chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of Primary Care at Children's Hospital, Boston. He also has an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Surprising Sources of Caffeine in Kids' Foods
Even low doses of caffeine can have an effect on your child's health. Since the FDA doesn't require caffeine content on food labels, learn about hidden sources of caffeine in kids' diets.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!