How to Treat Heat Rash - First Aid Training - St John Ambulance

Author: St John Ambulance

Heat rash, or prickly heat, is an itchy rash of small red spots that can cause a stinging or prickly feeling on the skin. The rash can be anywhere on the body, but usually people get it on their face, chest, back and thighs. It is caused by sweat glands becoming blocked so people usually get the rash if they're sweating more than usual. Heat rash isn't serious. It will usually go away after a few days so it doesn't normally need medical attention. There are four signs of heat rash to look for: itching, a rash of tiny red spots, mild swelling, and a prickling or burning feeling. If someone has heat rash, you should explain that the rash is not serious but give them tips on how to soothe the itching and avoid getting the heat rash in the future.

You can suggest they take a cold bath or shower to cool the skin and help prevent further sweating. They can also buy calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream which will help to soothe the itching. Recommend that they wear loose clothing made of cotton as cotton doesn't trap heat as much a synthetic fibres like nylon and polyester. Tell them to drink plenty of water to stop them getting dehydrated and suggest they avoid excessive heat or humidity by staying out of the sun and not sitting too close to a fire or heater. So remember: when treating heat rash suggest a cold bath or shower, use calamine lotion, suggest loose clothing and drink plenty of water. And that's how you treat heat rash.

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