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Baby Heat Rash: Types, Symptoms And Treatment

February 14, 2023

A baby’s skin is soft, tender and extremely sensitive. This is why you need to be careful about what you put on your baby’s tender skin. Some babies can develop rashes even with the most tried and tested baby skin products. Heat rash in babies is a very common problem most parents face. Most babies develop a rash or turn pink when exposed to a lot of heat. Even if it is just a few minutes under the midday sun, some babies can develop a heat rash.

Book an appointment to consult Dr. Prakash Desai for pediatric  concerns

How to Identify Heat Rash in Babies?

Babies are very sensitive to even the slightest change in their environment including the products that touch their skin. When anything can trigger a rash, how do you recognize a heat rash on your baby? Here are a few signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Small raised spots on the skin surface (prickly heat rash)
  • Baby feels itchy or tries to scratch repeatedly
  • Child complains of a prickly or irritating feeling on their skin
  • Mildly swollen spots on the skin
  • Neck folds, armpits, inner thighs and elbow/knee creases seem to develop a rash or turn colour when exposed to heat.

What Causes Heat Rash in Babies?

A heat rash occurs when the baby’s skin is overheated. Though babies are born with sweat glands, they are not fully functional yet. These glands can get blocked easily, thus preventing the heat in the body from going out. As a result, the baby’s body starts heating up from the inside and continued exposure to the sun or heat will only worsen it.

Our bodies sweat to regulate the temperature and when this does not happen for babies, they develop a heat rash, which needs external intervention. You need to step in with appropriate treatments or remedies and help their little bodies fight the rash.

How to Treat Heat Rash?

It can be difficult for any parent to see their baby suffer from a heat rash. They cannot avoid the sun or keep the baby indoors at times. When they do take the baby out and the baby develops a rash, the only way to handle it is to find a suitable cure or remedy.

Wondering how to cure heat rash on a baby? Here are a few heat rash in babies home remedies you can try to help with the rash.

  1. Keep Baby Cool

The best way to avoid heat rash in your baby is to keep them cool and dry. If the temperature is high, you can use air conditioners to help bring down the room temperature. You can even use a fan to ensure they receive good ventilation and don’t sweat too much. Keeping your baby dry can help avoid a heat rash.

  1. Avoid Creams & Powders

Prickly heat powders are famous and the advertisements can be very frequent when the weather gets warm. Don’t get tempted and try various creams or powders on your baby. Creams can occlude the pores, thus blocking the sweat glands and probably making the rash worse.

Powders, though are meant to absorb moisture and keep your baby dry, can have the reverse effect if your baby is sweating a lot. Piling up powder on wet skin can cause the powder to stick to the skin and lock the pores, which will increase your baby’s overall body temperature.

  1. Dress Light

Dress your baby in light cotton clothes that are airy and can keep your baby cool in warm weather. Cotton can also absorb sweat and body moisture, thus preventing the pores from clogging with sweat.

  1. Medicate

If the rash is persistent or spreads you can consult your pediatrician for any specific medicine is needed. Anytime you use a new product on your baby’s skin, watch out for reactions. For severe heat rashes or rashes that do not go away on their own, a doctor might prescribe a steroid cream to speed up healing.

  1. Use Something Cold

If your baby’s skin feels too hot, you can use a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a towel, to help bring down the temperature. Using a towel soaked in cold water can also offer immediate relief.

  1. Avoid Soap

It can be very tempting to wash the affected area with soap to keep the area clean. However, soap can dry the skin and make it more itchy or tender.

Remember, the above-mentioned baby heat rash treatment is just a suggestion and there is no guarantee that it will work for all babies. If your baby seems to develop a very severe or persistent rash that is painful or highly uncomfortable, you need to consult a doctor rather than trying to treat it yourself.

When to See a Doctor for Heat Rash?

For some babies, the heat rash can be very severe and might require more than simple home remedies. If you notice the following, you need to take your baby to see a doctor immediately:

  • The rash is all over the body and is making your baby very uncomfortable or itchy
  • The rash seems to get worse or shows no change despite stepping away from the heat for a while
  • The rash does not improve even after a few days
  • The rash that was in one area, is now spreading despite not going out into the sun
  • Baby is very fussy and does not eat or sleep like usual and their skin feels warm when you touch it.

Must Read : 5 tips to take care of your Newborn Baby


  1. Will the baby’s heat rash go away on its own?
  • It depends on how severe the rash is and the level of exposure to heat. Exposing your baby to more heat before the rash goes away completely, might cause the rash to flare up. For some babies, it can even settle down on its own, without any treatment. If it is a mild rash, staying away from the sun can help soothe the skin and calm the rash.
  1. How long does heat rash last?
  • If a baby’s skin is kept cool, heat rash usually resolves within a few days without treatment.
  1. Are heat rashes the only rashes seen in babies?
  • Heat rashes are the most common rashes in babies, but not the only one. Different rashes seen in babies are exczema rash (atopic dermatitis), neonatal acne, cradle cap, infection rash, contact dermatitis and diaper rashes. If in doubt consult your doctor as treatment varies between conditions.

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