Heat rash: How long does prickly heat take to go away?
Heat rashes or prickly heat is more likely to occur in hot weather. It’s uncomfortable, unsightly, and itchy, so you’ll want to try and avoid heat rash. It is normally harmless and is easy to prevent.
Heat rash is normally caused by blocked sweat glands.
When it is hot and you sweat excessively, sometimes your sweat glands can become blocked.
This trapped sweat can cause a heat rash or prickly heat to occur a few days later.
Heat rash is common in babies who cannot control their body temperature, but is also seen in adults and children.
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Heat rash symptoms
The symptoms of heat rash are the same in adults and children, and it can appear anywhere on the body.
You may find that the rash will spread to different areas of your body, but it isn’t infectious to others.
The symptoms are:
• small red spots
• an itchy, prickly feeling
• redness and mild swelling
How to avoid heat rash
The best thing to do to avoid heat rash in hot weather is keep cool and don’t sweat.
To do this, you should wear loose cotton clothing in light colours.
You should use sheets at night instead of duvets and sleep in cotton pyjamas.
Drink lots of water– at least six cups of water a day– to avoid becoming dehydrated.
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How to calm heat rash
Heat rash is itchy and uncomfortable, so you will want to treat it as soon as you can.
A pharmacist might recommend calamine lotion, antihistamine tablets, or hydrocortisone cream.
Apply something cooling such as a damp cloth or ice pack wrapped in a tea towel for 20 minutes maximum.
If your skin is really itching, try to pat it instead of scratching it.
Avoid using strong perfumed shower gels or creams, instead using baby products and products for gentle skin.
How long does prickly heat take to go away?
Heat rash should clear up on its own after a few days.
If it doesn’t, you could be suffering from something more severe.
If this is the case, ring your GP and ask for advice.
You could be suffering from the jock itch, which is a common infection in the groin or armpit area caused by staying in sweaty clothes after exercising.
The rash could actually be seasonal eczema, which is triggered by pollen, sweat and suncream.
Another condition you could have instead of heat rash is sweat rash.
This is common in overweight people who gather sweat in their fat creases and folds.
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