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Heat Rash in Adults

While heat rashes are common in babies, they are also observed in adults, especially those living in the tropical areas. This HealthHearty article elaborates on the causes and treatment of this skin condition.
Aarti R
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
Heat rashes are common due to the blocking of sweat pores. The rash becomes itchy, and the person may often feel prickly in the affected area. On the part of the body where a rash develops, tiny bumps are seen, surrounded by red skin. These rashes are seen on the areas of the body, like, the back, abdomen, neck, and this hips, as they are covered with clothes. They are prevalent in humid and hot climate, usually in the tropical areas.
Prickly heat rash is caused due to the blocking of sweat pores and hair follicles on the skin. Obstructed sweat glands with sweat trapped in them, result in bumps on the skin that are a major cause of a rash, specifically in adults. Excessive sweat and perspiration irritates the skin leading to rashes. Sweat glands play an important role in maintaining the normal body temperature. When the body temperature exceeds the normal, the sweat glands secrete sweat and release it from the skin pores in order to maintain the temperature. Heat rashes are developed in the sweat pores that are obstructed, and are unable to perspire adequately. Uncomfortable clothing, usually tight clothing, is mainly responsible for this skin problem. Adults develop a skin rash, where clothing causes friction and also in the skin folds on the body.
Some bacteria that inhabit the skin, secrete a sticky substance, which blocks the sweat pores, and cause rash. People who workout heavily and perspire a lot, can suffer from such a skin condition. Certain medications are also responsible for this kind of rashes in some people. Many people who are shifted from cold weather to tropical weather, are more susceptible to this skin problem.
Prevention and Treatment
Heat rashes can be reduced by remaining in shady areas, and staying away from direct sunlight. Many times, the fabric used for clothing is the culprit, and hence, avoiding these fabrics, and using cotton clothing can reduce the problem to a great extent. Cotton absorbs excessive sweat, and does not irritate the skin. The area, which is affected by the rash, must be kept as dry as possible with the help of talcum powders that are specifically made for a heat rash. A mild soap can be used to clean the affected area. After washing the affected area, it is advisable to pat dry the skin with a cotton towel. Bathing with oatmeal and baking soda can help to relieve pain and itching that is caused due to the rash. Over-the-counter ointments and creams are also considered effective. The sleeping area in the house must be cool and dry. If you are suffering from rashes, avoid taking sauna baths and using hot water tubs. This may worsen the condition and lead to various complications. Lastly, it is recommended that you must consult a physician, in case the condition worsens.
Heat rash in adults can be prevented by following a proper skin care regimen, and using cotton clothing during summer, or when you step in sunlight. After all, prevention is better than cure!