Expert Advice

Baby heat rash: How to treat and prevent it

It appears as red spots or clear blisters on the skin.

By Fiona Wright
Heat rash is also called sweat rash, prickly heat or miliaria and can flare up on your child's skin if they get too hot.
As your child's sweat glands aren't fully developed yet sweat can become trapped under the skin when pores become blocked. As a result, small pinkish lumps or blisters form.
What does heat rash look like?
Small pinkish-red or clear blisters may appear on your child's face, neck and in skin folds, like the nappy area, thighs, elbow creases or underarms.
As your baby's sweat glands are not yet fully developed, they are more susceptible to heat rash. (Getty Images)
What are the types of heat rash?
Mild (Miliaria crystalline) – the most common form. Appears as clear blisters. There is no itching or pain.
Moderate (Miliaria rubra) – also called prickly heat, it appears as bumpy red spots and can be cause irritation or itchiness. May result in rash and pus-filled blisters.
Severe (Miliaria profunda) – least common form of heat rash, it occurs deeper in the flesh and appears as relatively large, tough, flesh coloured bumps.
Heat rash often occurs in summer when it's hot and humid. (Getty Images)
How to prevent and treat heat rash
Keep your child cool and avoid them getting sweaty. If you live in a hot climate, use an air-conditioner and be sure to not dress your child in too many layers.
Stay out of direct contact of the sun on hot days and dress your child in light, cotton clothing.
A lukewarm bath may help your child feel more comfortable. Avoid soap as it could make the rash worse.
The rash should disappear in a few days, however see the doctor if your baby gets a fever or if the rash:
• doesn't go away
• looks worse
• gets infected
Your doctor can advise a cream to use to help clear up the rash.