Heat rash is a condition of the skin that is characterized by extreme itching. Sometimes, people with heat rash also feel a stinging sensation. Heat rash is also characterized by little bumps and redness in the affected areas. Other names for heat rash are prickly heat and miliaria.
As the name implies, heat rash is usually caused by exposure to heat. When people are in hot humid conditions, the tendency is to sweat, creating more moisture to accumulate in certain parts of the body. Excessive perspiration can cause damage to the skin cells, which results in the sweat being trapped just beneath the surface. This results in the tiny bumps characteristic of heat rash.
Heat rash often forms in areas of the body that are covered with clothing - the back, abdomen, upper chest, groin, and the armpits. Heat rash also often develops in skin folds. Infants often experience heat rash, but adults can also suffer from the condition.
While heat rash can be very itchy and irritating, it does go away on its own. In most cases, the condition doesn’t last for very long, so there is no real need to see a doctor. There are, however, home remedies that you can try in order to alleviate the itchiness. It is also important to note that in rare cases, heat rash can get worse and last for more than a few days. This may be due to a variety of reasons, infection being one of them. In case this happens, then a visit to the doctor is necessary.