How can I treat heat rash?
The most effective treatment for heat rash is to keep your skin cool and dry.
- Cool down. Avoid hot and humid places. If possible, stay in air-conditioned areas, or use fans to circulate the air. Use cool compresses to bring down the temperature of the affected skin.
- Dry off. Keep the irritated skin dry. Use a fan to dry the skin off faster and to reduce sweating.
- Reduce friction. Wear loose clothes to prevent irritation caused by clothing that rubs against the skin.
- Treat fever. If you have a fever, treat it with an over-the-counter drug, like acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol) or ibuprofen (some brand names: Advil, Motrin), according to the directions on the package.
If your rash is severe, your doctor may prescribe a lotion to help relieve your pain or discomfort.
When should I go to the doctor?
In most cases, heat rash goes away on its own. If your heat rash doesn’t go away after 3 or 4 days, or if it seems to be getting worse, talk to your doctor. In some cases, heat rash may be caused by an infection. See your doctor if your itchiness is severe or if the rash area swells or oozes pus. If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or confused, or you have trouble breathing, go to the emergency room right away. These symptoms can be signs of serious heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff