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What are Home Remedies for Heat Rash?

A few tablespoons of baking soda in a bath can help soothe a heat rash.
The obese tend to sweat more and are more predisposed to get a heat rash.
Aloe gel has a calming effect on the skin.
Ice cubes in a sealed plastic bag can help cool skin and remedy heat rash.
Aloe vera is commonly used to relieve heat rash.
An ice pack can help with a heat rash.
Heat rashes are common during the summer.
Avoiding ointments or thick creams is best when treating a heat rash.
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  • Written By: Aniza Pourtauborde
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2014
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Summer has finally arrived, and you have been jogging regularly in the park, working up a good sweat in your brand new nylon jogging suit. One morning, though, after a particularly rigorous run, you notice tiny red bumps all over your back and upper chest. As you peel the form-fitting suit off your body, you feel a prickly sensation creep up your skin, causing it to itch terribly. You begin to panic, wondering if you had been bitten by a poisonous insect on your way home through the park. Stop worrying, as your symptoms are common, especially during the summer when heat and humidity are at an all-time high.

What you have is heat rash, otherwise known as prickly heat. Perspiration helps to regulate your body temperature by cooling you down as it evaporates through your skin. Donning tight-fitting clothes in fabrics such as nylon and polyester traps sweat and heats up your skin, causing it to swell and plug sweat ducts. Heat rash occurs when these blocked ducts force sweat to trickle into your skin rather than out of it. This problem usually develops on clothed areas of your body, such as the abdomen, neck, upper chest, back, groin and armpits.

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When you have heat rash, the first thing you must do is to cool down your body. Find an air-conditioned room where you can relax while your body cools off. Alternatively, take a cold shower or bath to minimize the prickly sensation on your skin. Meanwhile, you might want to consider trying one or more of these home remedies:

1. Ice pack. Cooling your skin is a number one priority to prevent heat rash from raging further. Pack some ice cubes into a sealed plastic bag and wrap it in a dishcloth. Apply to the affected areas for five to ten minutes at a time. Repeat every four to six hours.

2. Powdered bath. Baking soda or fine-ground oatmeal powder works wonders to ease the itch from a heat rash. Add a few tablespoons of either to your tepid bath water and stir it well so that it dissolves completely. Then, enjoy a good soak in the tub. You will feel refreshed and more comfortable as your rash heals.

3. Dusting. After a cold bath or shower, dust yourself thoroughly with baking soda, cornstarch or an absorbent powder such as unscented talcum powder. This helps absorb some of the excess moisture that causes heat rash. Reapply these powders as often as possible, rinsing and drying yourself well beforehand.

4. Lotions. There are many non-prescription lotions that relieve the itch from heat rash. Smooth mentholated or calamine lotion on your skin to cool the irritated areas. Alternatively, gently apply the gel from an aloe vera leaf, a plant well-known for its healing and soothing properties. Do this two or three times per day and remember to wash the affected areas thoroughly before reapplication. Avoid thick or oily ointments and creams, as they can worsen the condition.

5. Air-dry. If you have developed blisters due to a severe heat rash, do not bandage or cover them. Instead, expose the rash as often as you can to fresh air. This helps the skin to heal more quickly.

While these home remedies are often successful in treating heat rash, it is still important to take extra precautions to prevent a recurrence of this problem. Avoid wearing constrictive clothing and fabrics that inhibit perspiration from evaporating properly. Put on comfortable, loose-fitting, cotton clothes, especially if the weather is hot and humid. Watch your weight carefully, as those who are overweight or obese tend to sweat more and are therefore predisposed to heat rash.

Heat rash should disappear within a week. However, if your tiny red bumps develop into white pustules and your rash persists for more than two weeks, contact your doctor, as this could be an indication of a more serious skin problem such as eczema.

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Discuss this Article

anon347595
Post 55

Please try Desitin diaper rash cream. It cured my severe sweat rash that I tried to cure for two months. It worked in two days.

anon324001
Post 53

Gold Bond lotion made my rash way worse. Cortisone doesn't do a lot for it.

anon324000
Post 52

To those who are asking about the vaginal area, I would go to a gynecologist and get checked out. It's easy to get something from someone else. And don't be embarrassed. It happens more than anyone wants to let on.

anon323999
Post 51

I have to wear a tight brace on my arm most of the day and that is where the heat rash is. I got it most likely from using too much heat for my therapy at home. I sometimes left it on there for an hour while working my thumb. Loose clothing doesn't help when you have a brace on. I'm going to try the cornstarch.

anon318809
Post 50

I've just start getting the heat rash on my neck and it's itching a lot. I rubbed a lotion on it but it's not helping. I can't quite remember the name of the lotion as the name is very long. I'm going somewhere with my family and was hoping if someone can give me some remedies. I won't have time to go buy anything so if anyone knows any remedy, please tell me.

anon315689
Post 49

If you don't want to pay for expensive medical treatment for this condition, a fantastic and cheap solution is to apply Nivea cream. It soothes instantly and works very quickly to clear up sweat rashes of all kinds.

anon288663
Post 48

I have an itchy rash on my stomach and on my back. It's been 10 months now and I've been in and out seeing doctors, so I was advised to see a specialist, which I did, but the specialist didn't know exactly what is wrong with me. He he had to cut the piece of the flesh that is affected and do some tests but the results came back saying that they didn't find anything wrong. I was given some cream to apply and pills to take and it was better for like two months.

I had only the spots, but now it's starting again even though I am still using the same medication. This rash is very itchy with spots even if I take the Allergex pills. I have to take four at the same time because if I take two it won't make any difference. Please help. What can I use?

anon277744
Post 46

I have suffered with itchy heat rash for years and even went to the dermatologist. I just happened to have some Gold Bond powder in my medicine chest. The night before last I used the powder. I was on fire under my breasts when I first applied the powder. Today, though, there's no rash. I have a little itch, but am continuing to use the powder. What a relief!

anon264024
Post 44

Every year in summer I suffered heavy prickly heat all over my body. It's very scary for me. I also used so many kind of prickly heat powders but have seen no effects. So, is here any solution to my problem? If yes please kindly help me.

mel16
Post 43

I have had heat rash/small spots for years on my face and it's really itchy. Does anyone know how I can get rid of it?

anon211308
Post 41

I've found a treatment for heat rash and sweat rash for those of us who can't just sit in a cool dark room with a fan and a cold cloth on our bodies all day. If you still need to work outside and want to do it without a rash, you should try Reef Relief. It has done wonders for me and my skin for two months now.

anon198254
Post 40

The most common mistake with heat rash is the use of lotions or oils to relieve dryness. This only further clogs the skin. Aloe gel straight from the plant is 96 percent water and allows the skin to breathe, while fighting bacterial infection and reducing pain.

Applied every few hours, aloe addresses the causes of irritation in the deeper layers of the skin while fighting bacteria at the surface, decreasing the duration and severity of the rash.

anon198241
Post 39

Well, it's all over my neck, and it's ticking me off.

anon184751
Post 38

I suffer heat bumps (rash) on my chest and parts of my back. I know it is caused from tanning, that is when it started. So far I have found that the solutions in the main article work best. After I return home I take a cool shower and make sure I get all of the lotions off of me. Then I dry completely and sit down and apply ice to the area for a while. This relieves the itching and helps the bumps some too.

I would not follow the advice of some here and take warm showers or apply a warm wash cloth to the affected area. Seriously, why would you apply heat to a conditions caused by heat and expect them to heal?

anon183144
Post 37

Ok, listen up. I might just have your cure!

I am 16 years old and have suffered heat rash/prickly heat for a few years now, and suffered it very severely about a year ago when I went to greece for a holiday.

I totally understand the pain you people go through with heat rash, as it made me so itchy and sore and uncomfortable all day and night, and prevented me from sleeping too, so i just had to find something that could help.

I have tried everything to stop it, and first, i am going to say that things that don't work are: Savlon (an antiseptic skin cream i use in the uk); Fucicort Lipid (A lotion i was prescribed in greece which did not sooth or get rid of my rash at all).

I had to keep looking for a solution, and luckily we knew a doctor in greece who said she could help us, and she suggested a 50:50 mixture of 'Herbosun' cream (used for sunburn, irritation etc., and 'Betnovate' cream. These cured my problem and have been the only things that have helped me at all!

You should be able to get these from a pharmacy, and they are not too expensive either, so i suggest you get both of these creams to try out together, as they might just help you too!

Another suggestion is, take regular cold baths and stay out of the sun. These definitely prevent the problem in the first place!

So I hope I helped! Thanks.

anon152453
Post 36

I have all of the above,all of my life. On top of the hands is atopic dermatitis. Heat rashes with watery red blisters once the temp is above 25c and humid. Only thing that works is a hot shower to stop the itch then a ointment with cortisone.Elocon will fix it 100 percent, hydrocortisone 50 percent (over the counter). Make sure you use an ointment as it is a lot better than a cream.

anon151373
Post 35

i find using calamine lotion for heat rash is a common way of stopping the itch, it works quite well on my skin and even clears the rash a little, however it does leave a powdery residue so i wouldn't suggest using it before going out. i carry cooling spray with me at all times, so if i feel a rash coming ill give myself a light spray. also i find taking an allergy tablet once a day when a rash occurs seems to tone down the itching and clears the rash, tablets that are affective for skin allergies are best.

anon147585
Post 34

I've had an itchy heat rash for 6/7 years now. I think it's a case of miliaria (itchy, sometimes little bumps on the skin). Anything that makes my temperature rise brings it on.

It comes and goes really quickly. As soon as I step outside and cool down it's gone in minutes. But it's still very annoying knowing that it might hit me at any time. It limits what I can and can't do. It's like a minor disability at times.

Although I go through periods for months at a time when it's more manageable and calm.

But the weirdest thing is that any time I travel to a hotter climate (I live in the UK) it's not a problem. I think maybe exposing my skin to the sun, fresh air and ocean (which we don't get a lot of in my country) does wonders for it.

anon140096
Post 33

This will interest a lot of you who have a rash from sun/heat/sunbeds. All doctors call it prickly heat. Well, i diagnosed myself a few years back. the problem most of you have is called polymorphic light eruption, and steroids need to be taken to prevent this happening. I can now go to sunnier climates now i have found this out.

anon134635
Post 32

I have a rash on my legs. I have tried many different things like putting cold water which helps a little and putting honey which again helps a little. I have had it for about four months now and i really wish it would go away please give me any ideas of what to do!

anon118931
Post 30

the best way that works for me is that i clean the area very well with cold water. it might sting badly but it needs to be clean. then i use some diaper rash stuff for babies believe it or not within the next day/morning (if you put it on at night) it's gone and soothed. if not, keep putting it on, and it will go away with that stuff.

anon102247
Post 28

I currently have a very bad heat rash on my legs, arms, back, chest, stomach, ears, and face, and the baking soda is working for me. My ears feel way better in just 1 day, and my legs are way less itchy.

I have been trying the oatmeal baths for about four days prior to trying the baking soda, but the oatmeal didn't seem to be effective. I put about 1 tbs of baking soda into my bath, and in 12 hours i noticed a difference. it seems to be working for me! Yay!

anon100883
Post 27

I just had very bad heat bumps on my legs. I cured it by drinking lots of water and rubbing cucumber on the itchy bumps! Hope this works for you!

anon98089
Post 26

to anon91409: it doesn't say to "pour baking soda all over it." it states you should add a few tablespoons to tepid bathwater and stir it in and let it dissolve.

anon91835
Post 25

I've been getting severe heat rash now for the past two years! Even in the winter I get it, If I get slightly warm quickly I'll have a little break. If it's bad it's everywhere: on my upper and lower body, my face and even the tops of my ears itch!

It makes my skin dry and I find letting air to it makes it worse. I find when I've just had a shower I can get it easily. I can't get a bath as the last time I did it was like I jumped in a massive bush of stinging nettles!

anon91409
Post 24

I currently have horrible heat rash, and i just poured baking soda all over it like the article says, and it is the more horribly painful experience. Do not use baking soda! please change this article to avoid other people making this horrible mistake.

anon90978
Post 23

I have a heat rash on my arms, from the shoulder down to the top of my hands and from slightly

above mid thigh to my ankles. They really itch especially the back of my legs. I can't get out of the heat cause I'm taking P.E. too, over the summer for six weeks. I'd like to get rid of this and also prevent it in the coming weeks. Can you maybe help me?

anon88324
Post 22

I've just come back from a really hot climate, and I think I have heat rash that has spread all around my neck.

It's bumpy, very painful, and looks slightly yellow. (Like pus is poking out the top.)

It's embarrassing and I have to wait for a doctors appointment. They're useless. Is there anything that could soothe the pain? It's also swelling my glands and giving me an ear ache.

anon87453
Post 21

I get rashes on my legs every time I'm in serious heat (really hot shower, really hot outside, etc.). It looks kind of like hives. It's not bumpy like heat rashes are. It happens a lot, and so I try not to wear shorts, but it'll be summer soon. Does anyone know what this is and how to fix it?

anon86932
Post 20

I have heat rash everywhere. i have eczema and i look gross. i don't like people staring at me at school. i feel really down.

anon85340
Post 19

I'm not sure if its a heat rash but my doctor says it is. they are different sized bumps all on my tummy and upper thigh.but it looks like there are more coming every couple of days. can anyone help me know what this is? thanks

anon81400
Post 18

can you get heat rash on your legs from the knee down? if so, what can i use on it?

anon79874
Post 17

i have a heat rash on my forehead. what should i use?

anon74892
Post 16

i have heat rash on my face and just want it gone fast! because i am a freshman in school and don't want anyone to notice. what should i do?

anon48174
Post 15

I have a "series". First, I get hives, then I get heat rash and last but not least, sun spots, pop wherever my heat rash was. Now is this normal? Or am I super sensitive to the humidity I've grown up with? I live on Guam by the way.

anon46798
Post 14

I have recently developed a rash with clusters of water blisters around my chest, my right arm and hand, and some in the middle of my back. I have been visiting in Rome for the last 30 days where the temperature is hot and humid. I also attended Bikram yoga while in Rome. It has been over a week now and it seems to spread. I am concerned that it is more than a heat rash. Any thoughts?

anon38125
Post 11

can you get a heat rash around the back of your ears and around your hair line????

anon31661
Post 10

You could get heat rash around the groin area, but it may be more like a milder version of herpes. Lots of rashes found around groin areas can be a form of herpes and easily treatable (not the same sort of herpes you picture when you hear it).

anon29535
Post 9

I also have been tanning, only for about two weeks now, like 6 times.. and I've gotten a rash on my chest like between and under my breasts. People told me its just heat rash, so when I go tanning I've been putting baby powder on so I don't sweat there and afterwords I put aloe vera on.. but once it wares off it gets reallllyy itchy.

anon13578
Post 8

well i've been going tanning about 4 times a week for 4 weeks now, and i went yesterday and got home and had tiny red bumps all over my chest. and my prom is tomorrow! does anyone know how i can get rid of the bumps quickly?

mrjones
Post 7

anon 13519,

have you considered that maybe you're experiencing some sort of allergic reaction to the material used in your boots and socks? or maybe, you're experiencing some form of fungal infection like athlete's foot?

anon13519
Post 5

I get it real bad around my ankles, as I wear metatarsal boots and socks all summer at work (not something I can refuse to do unfortunately) and I also have had it on the tops of my hands and on my arms, I was always told it's called a friction burn, but it has the same indications as a heat rash. I'm gonna try the cornstarch in my socks and I'll post again if it works!

anon12770
Post 4

The only place I have the rash is on the top of my hands, which I find quite confusing, does anyone know why this is?

Moderator's reply: our article, what are some causes of rashes? may have more information!

anon11708
Post 3

well the groin is around the vagina and you can get it there so it might be able to spread a bit

anon11649
Post 2

I am not sure...but I have a rash down there that I developed recently and wonder if it is because I have been doing infrared heat wraps...

anon6442
Post 1

Can you get heat rash around the vaginal area?

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