Red rashes may be prickly heat rash or miliaria which occurs when babies are exposed to high temperatures causing them to sweat profusely. Clothes that are too tight or several layers of clothes also trigger excessive sweating.
Prickly heat rash forms when the sweat glands of a baby get clogged because of too much sweating in high-temperature environments. The sweat ducts of babies are not yet properly formed, so prickly heat rash occurs when trapped sweat appears as bumps on the skin or when dead skin cells block the pores of their skin. This is a common occurrence during hot and humid seasons, but heat rashes can develop during the winter when infants are bundled in several layers of clothing while inside a heated home. When there is excess sweat, it can easily cause this skin rash to form.
Prickly heat rash tends to form on skin folds around the arms, legs, neck and groin area. The pores of the skin become red, inflamed and hot to the touch. This particular heat rash leaves a prickly sensation on the skin which causes babies to become fussy and irritable.
Although prickly heat rash is not something to worry about as it tends to disappear after a few days, it can be dangerous when the pores of the skin become clogged to the point that it causes heat exhaustion. Talk to your doctor if a rash remains on the skin for more than a week.
Prickly Heat Rash Baby vs Baby Heat Rash
Prickly heat rash and baby heat rash are almost the same, but heat rash in babies tends to be mild.
Although rashes can form on anyone’s skin, babies and toddlers are more prone to them because their skin cells and sweat ducts are still developing.
There are various types of heat rashes including the following:
Babies With Miliaria Crystallina
Also referred to as miliaria sudamina, this rash occurs when the sweat ducts of your baby’s skin are clogged close to the surface.
Miliaria is extremely identifiable based on the formation of the rash which, in the case of miliaria crystallina, appears like beads of sweat.
It usually disappears after a few hours or days. This rash is not particularly itchy, and it may appear as some bumps on the skin with no other symptoms.
Babies With Miliaria Rubra
Miliaria rubra is commonly known as prickly heat rash which babies and even adults suffer from when humid weather invades.
This rash appears when the blockage of pores occurs on the deeper part of the epidermis. These rashes are a few millimeters in size and appear in locations of the body where there is constant friction.
Miliaria rubra can be quite itchy and cause the skin to become red and raw. This rash often appears a few weeks or months after the hot weather begins. These red pustules can disappear after a few days once the baby’s temperature is cooled.
Babies With Miliaria Profunda
This type of skin rash is a bit uncommon but can happen to individuals who are living in hot countries and have experienced miliaria rubra several times.
This time, the rashes appear as large bumps on the skin when sweating. Although less itching happens at this stage, your baby has a higher risk of heat exhaustion because of the clogged pores.
Babies With Miliaria Pustula
Miliaria pustula occurs when the pustules become infected with bacteria and may contain pus. This can be painful and irritating to your baby.
There are several ways to prevent these rashes from spreading or happening in the first place. Here are a few suggestions to keep your baby safe and comfortable especially when the weather becomes hot.
Pay Attention To When Your Baby Starts Swaddling
Swaddling your baby is a good idea as it mimics the all-encompassing comfort of the womb. If you do plan to swaddle your little one, do not layer clothes under the swaddling. A onesie on its own is enough as the swaddling cloth provides extra heat. This reduces the risk of prickly heat rash because your baby will not overheat.
Keep Your Baby In a Cool Dry Environment
It is always a good idea to bring your little one to a cool place when the temperature starts to rise so there will be less sweating. Set up a fan in the bedroom, and open the windows to let the air circulate. In addition to controlling the temperature, make sure to avoid dressing your baby in several layers of clothing. Too much sweating leads to these rashes which can make your child quite uncomfortable.
Spend Time Inside As The Outdoors Can Cause Heat Exposure
Summer season coaxes us out of the house, but make sure to keep an eye on your little one as a baby’s skin is very sensitive. Be mindful to limit your child’s exposure to heat as sweat causes friction between the clothes and skin. Restrict your time outdoors in the sweltering heat.
A Lukewarm Bath Will Help Bring Relief
If there are rashes present, bathe your baby in lukewarm water as it is gentle on the skin. Add at least two spoonfuls of baking soda to the bath water to help alleviate the itching.
With Caution, Seek Over-The-Counter Medications
Prickly heat rash can leave a prickly, annoying sensation on the skin. Speak to your pediatrician about over-the-counter medications that can treat your baby’s condition. A pharmacist can also offer help when choosing a soothing cream for your baby’s irritated skin.
Heat rashes can be uncomfortable and itchy, but they tend to disappear after a few hours or days depending on their severity. If red spots appear on your baby’s skin, lessen the heat, alleviate the rash, and restore your child to their usual adorable and happy self.
Prickly Heat Rash Baby References;
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Newborn Skin; Common Skin Problems
Patient, Prickly Heat and Heat Rash, Dr. Mary Harding, October 19, 2016, https://patient.info/health/sun-and-sunburn/prickly-heat-and-heat-rash-miliaria