Babies and heat rashes

Definition

Heat rash occurs in babies when the pores of the sweat glands become blocked. This generally happens when the weather is hot or humid. As the infant sweats, little red bumps, and possibly tiny blisters, form because the blocked glands cannot clear the sweat.

Alternative Names

Heat rashes and babies; Prickly heat rash; Red miliaria

Information

To avoid heat rash, keep your baby cool and dry during warm weather.

Some helpful suggestions:

  • During the hot season, dress your baby in lightweight, soft, cotton clothing. Cotton is very absorbent and keeps moisture away from the baby's skin.
  • If air conditioning is not available, a fan may help evaporate moisture and cool the infant. Place the fan far enough away that there is only a gentle breeze drifting over the infant.
  • Avoid the use of powders, creams, and ointments. Baby powders don't improve or prevent heat rash. Creams and ointments tend to keep the skin warmer and block the pores.

For details, see: Rash, child under 2 years

Figures

Heat rashInfant heat rash

Revision

Last reviewed 11/13/2011 by Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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