a physician a building location a clinical trial a department
menu
BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Baylor College of Medicine News

Don't sweat the heat rash

The summer heat shows no sign of fading as the fall months approach, and that means summer problems like heat rash are still a concern, say doctors at Baylor College of Medicine.

Heat rash is very different from sunburns. While sunburns are caused by ultraviolet light that burns the skin, a heat rash (miliaria) is caused by sweat ducts being clogged and forming itchy bumps, explained Dr. Ramsey Markus, associate professor of dermatology at BCM.

Excessive sweating

"While sunburn is found on areas not covered by clothing, heat rash is usually found on areas of the body covered by clothing where excessive sweating takes place, irritating and clogging sweat glands," said Markus. "In fact, you don't necessarily have to be in the sun to get a heat rash. You can be in any environment that will cause excessive sweating."

Heat rash usually goes away on its own but to treat irritation, apply a cold compress and rest in a cool area. If it is severe or very itchy, a doctor may treat the area with prescription steroid medication.

Wear lightweight clothing

"Prevention is always best, so wear breathable, lightweight clothing and try to stay in air conditioned areas when possible," said Markus.

Markus said sunburns are still a concern in any temperature, so always wear sunscreen and try to stay in shaded areas to protect your skin.