Okay, I’m no doctor here nor medical specialist but I’m sharing based on my experience (would two years be enough? Nope?) Alright, Heat rash or also known as prickly heat are small red bumps appearing on your child’s skin usually during summer or humid season. This usually appears on their forehead, back, nape (or the back of their neck), chest and even on thighs.
Few weeks ago, our AC (actually not ours but..), the AC at our condo was busted at an amazing timing. It acted up, you know, the moment the Philippines’ temperature spike up at 33 degrees. Dreu – our little guy who’s been so active lately (toddler stage and stuff) has grown to use the AC all the time. Not my fault, blame his Dad for that.
Anyways, that particular incident made me write this post. As we know, babies and toddlers, adults even, actually gets the rash because of the skin’s reaction to temperature and the sweat glands cannot release the sweat.
I’ve been seeing a few kids around getting the rash, my son, in particular, had it over his back and neck and forehead. I’m not sure if he gets all itchy because of it but looking at my son getting red bumps all over his face makes me feel so anxious.
According to Cleveland Clinic’s website, these factors can contribute to heat rash:
- Hot, humid weather or environment
- Physical activity, intense exercise, hard work or activity
- Fabrics that do not allow sweat to evaporate from the skin
- Overdressing a child or dressing in too heavy of fabric for the weather
- Sleeping under too many blankets
- Use of oils, thick creams or ointments, which can block the sweat ducts
- Immature sweat ducts, such as in a newborn
- Prescription medications that increase sweat gland function
I’d like to share what we did (of course I can’t do it without T and my helper), to help Dreu get over the rash in over 2 days (honestly, that fast).
1. Bathe them 2x a day if possible
I know how hard it is to bathe a toddler for some but if I could lock him in the bathroom (that was harsh) and let him stay in the shower for hours, I definitely would. As much as my little boy loves the shower (as long as he has his toys of course), it needs extra effort when they get a rash. Make sure no soap residue on the skin or bubbles that would irritate your child’s skin. We have to make sure they’re always fresh to avoid irritation so if you use hot water when bathing them, stop for now (I said, for now), and try to use cold/room temp water for now. I make sure to bathe him once in the morning after his walk and one in the evening after dinner right before bed.
2. Let them wear loose clothing
I know how much you love looking at your adorable little human being wearing those cute little jogger pants and skintight jeans. I’m not against it, but don’t let them wear those cool #OOTD just yet. Well, not during daytime where the sun is scorching hot I suppose. The rash would multiply as much if the sweat on the skin is trapped. Avoid tight-fitting clothes for now. As much as possible, let him or her wear loose sandos. Not only is it cooler, it’ll help the skin breathe.
3. Check their diet
If you added something new to his food, changed his diet or his milk perhaps, you might wanna look into that as a source of the rashes. It might not be the main reason for the rash but it’s a risk factor. Any foods or drinks that would increase your body temperature increases the possibility of getting a prickly heat. Sugar usually triggers rash so you might wanna check the sugar or glucose content of your child’s meal. Probably, less biscuits and more of healthy fibers would help.
4. Use a gentle towel
Whenever you’re drying your baby’s skin, make sure to check what type of towel you’re using. You may not think it’s important but the cloth you are using might be too harsh for his/r sensitive skin and might irritate the rash. You can check on Muslin washcloths or the cotton ones – real cotton. We tried to stop using Dreu’s towel and used soft cotton washcloths to dry his skin particularly his neck when he had the rash and I can say that it helped, tremendously.
5. Use a gentle mild or hypoallergenic cleanser
Whatever we use on our baby’s skin is just as important as what we feed them. A harsh soap may be causing the rash so try switching to a milder, hypoallergenic cleanser. Sometimes we think that the more bubbles the soap can get, the more it can clean the skin but research shows that cleansers with fewer bubbles are much better at cleaning our baby’s skin and much gentler of course. When Dreu had the rash, I decided to go back to the best cleanser I know – Cetaphil. I didn’t have the stock of Cetaphil Baby by that time so I made him use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (the one that I use on my face), and redness were reduced, as well as rashes. So the day after, I purchased the Cetaphil Baby Wash and he’s been using it since. You might wanna check Mustela as well as I swear by their Mustela 1-2-3 Vitamin Barrier Cream who works miracles when Dreu had diaper rash.
Don’t blame yourself if some rash appears on your kid’s skin. It’s not your fault. You’ll never know. But then of course, once you know what’s best for your child’s skin – what works or what doesn’t, make sure to use the best products and manage the controllable. Say for example you know that specific powder or lotion triggers rash, then stop using it for your kid. Or if you know he gets rashes if he goes outside, then avoid going out in the heat for the meantime.
On top of that, make sure to visit your pediatrician if it appears more than prickly heat, if your child has a history of Eczema, has very sensitive skin, if the rash becomes infected or if you’re worried it’s not healing. The doctor may refer your child to a dermatologist if underlying conditions are found.