Hot, humid weather can lead to heat rash or prickly heat, which occurs when sweat glands clog and sweat becomes trapped beneath the skin.
The condition often results in a patch of little red bumps, usually arising on the neck, upper chest, elbows or groin, or under arms or breasts, where skin folds touch. It can occur at any age, but is more often found on the elderly and on babies, who may be overdressed and have trouble cooling off.
“Heat rashes aren’t serious, but they can be annoying,” says Dr. Amit Pandya, professor of dermatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Heat rash should fade away after those affected move to a cooler environment and expose the affected area to more air. Loosen clothing around the affected area or wash the area with a cold cloth, then let it air dry. Try calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to relieve itching.
To help avoid heat rash, try drying the area after a shower and using powders such as baby or talcum powder. Occasionally, a yeast infection may occur in affected body folds, which appears as more intense redness and small bumps. This is especially common in people with diabetes. An over-the-counter medicated cream or powder designed to treat yeast and fungus may be used for such infections. If you are uncertain as to the cause of the rash, consult a physician.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/dermatology to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dermatology.
Media Contact: Russell Rian
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