You can avoid heat rash by staying inside, but if you just have to head outside into the heat, you'll want to be prepared to treat your heat rash. But what if you don't have calamine lotion or aloe vera gel, and the thought of heading out in the sweltering heat to the pharmacy for supplies is unbearable? Luckily, there are some things you can do at home to ease irritation of the affected area. Surprisingly, something as simple as a cool bath can help soothe and cool your skin. But since you can't sit in the bath all day, you'll need to know what to do beyond the tub. First, try to dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored, soft clothing that will not rub against and irritate your skin. Until the heat rash clears, it is best to avoid going outside in hot and humid weather. Stay in shaded places or air-conditioned buildings, and when you take those nice cold baths, air-dry your skin or very gently pat it dry instead of rubbing it dry with a towel, which can cause additional irritation [source: eMedicineHealth].
The bumps and blisters that develop from heat rash can cause a lot of discomfort. Gently applying ice, either directly or wrapped in a soft cloth, on the area is one way you can help to relieve the burning and itching sensation. You can increase your bath's effectiveness by combining a cup or two of oatmeal with a few teaspoons of baking soda and pouring it in your tub. Or you can lightly dust the affected area with baby powder (a mild, unscented powder is best) or cornstarch to keep it dry and cool.
If the heat rash seems to be getting worse, be sure to contact your doctor. Otherwise, the best way to beat the heat -- and the heat rash -- is simply to stay cool.
To learn more, look over the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Alai, Nili N., MD, FAAD. "Heat Rash." eMedicineHealth. (8/11/09). http://www.emedicinehealth.com/heat_rash/article_em.htm#Overview
- BabyCenter. "Heat Rash." (8/11/09).http://www.babycenter.com/0_heat-rash_10881.bc?page=1
- FamilyDoctor. "Heat Rash." FamilyDoctor.org. (8/11/2009). http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/skin/disorders/921.html
- Mayo Clinic. "Heat Rash." (8/3/09).http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heat-rash/DS01058
- MedicineNet. "Heat Rash." (8/11/09).http://www.medicinenet.com/heat_rash/article.htm
- Peoples-Health. "Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments of Heat Rash." (8/11/09).http://www.peoples-health.com/causes-symptoms-treatment.html
- WebMD. "Heat Rash -- Topic Overview." (8/3/09).http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/heat-rash-topic-overview