How to Treat Heat Rash in Babies and Toddlers

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Heat rash, also known as heat rash, is a skin condition that occurs in babies and toddlers in the summer or other warm weather days. You’ve probably seen it before, perhaps on a warm day after going out and about with your baby or toddler. You may notice a raised pink rash — like tiny dots or stings — on their neck, upper chest, and back a few hours later when you change them to bed.

You may panic at first – most parents do when they see their child have a rash. But then, a quick call to your doctor will sort things out and put you at ease. Heat rash is a common childhood rash that usually clears up on its own in a few days with simple home remedies and rarely requires medical intervention.

However, if you’re not sure if you’re dealing with heat rash or something else, you should check with your pediatrician. Your doctor can also give you tips to ease the discomfort that sometimes accompanies heat rash.

Symptoms of heat rash or hot flashes

Heat rash, also known as heat rash, is characterized by a slightly raised pink rash with small raised pink dots. Sometimes the dots can look like small pimples. The rash is usually quite noticeable, and sometimes surprises parents. Your child will not have other symptoms, such as a fever, and will be generally satisfied. In some cases, the rash can become itchy or uncomfortable, causing your child to become irritable.

The most common signs and symptoms include:

  • A raised, pink or reddish rash with a pattern of small dots or bumps
  • In infants, the rash usually appears on the neck, armpits, elbow folds, and diaper area.
  • In toddlers and older children, the rash usually appears on the neck, chest, and back.
  • The rash rarely involves the face, palms, or soles.
  • Occasionally, heat rash can be itchy; Your child may describe it as “needle and needle” or spikes.
  • The rash tends to spread, especially if scratched.
  • For infants, the rash may be accompanied by small blisters.


Usually heat rash or heat rash will clear up on its own within a few days (usually 2-3 days) after your child’s skin is cooled and other home remedies are taken to calm the rash. Sometimes — especially if the rash is widespread, your child scratches frequently, or is irritated — an infection can develop.

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Signs of an infection may include the following:

  • The rash area becomes red, swollen, or warm to the touch.
  • Your child may complain of pain or appear to be in pain.
  • You may notice red streaks coming from the rash.
  • You may notice pus.
  • Your child may have signs of an infection, including swollen lymph nodes.
  • Your child may have a fever.

If your child has any of these symptoms, contact your pediatrician as soon as possible.

Causes and risk factors

Heat rash or heat rash occurs when a baby or toddler’s sweat glands become blocked, causing small red bumps to form around the sweat glands. This is more likely if your child wears clothes that are too thick in warm or humid weather; if they overheat during exercise; or if their skin is covered with creams, lotions, or ointments when hot or exercising.

There are a number of factors that increase your child’s chances of getting heat rash, including:

  • Warm or humid weather: Heat rash is most common in summer or other warm weather days.
  • Exercise or exertionespecially in hot weather (this is more common in older children)
  • Wearing too much or overusing layers or blankets, especially in the summer. Wear breathable clothing in hot weather, in a car, or in other poorly ventilated areas.
  • Use some products, including ointments, creams, and lotions, can clog sweat glands. Be careful with oils or other products applied to your child’s hair (if you see a heat rash on your child’s forehead). Breastfed babies may be more susceptible to heat rash when topical nipple creams like lanolin are applied to your nipples and rubbed on your baby’s skin. Sometimes a heat rash on your child’s chest is caused by applying menthol-type ointments to soothe a cough.
  • Sweat gland: Newborns are more susceptible to canker sores due to their immature sweat glands than older children.
  • Humidity: In infants, heat rash or heat rash tends to occur in places where moisture is kept, such as the armpits, under the neck, and diaper area; Drying those areas periodically can help reduce the risk of heat rash.


If your baby or toddler suddenly develops a rash of any kind, you should call the doctor. Rashes in children are very common, most of them are not cause for concern and will go away on their own or with simple treatments.

However, some rashes, including measles or chickenpox, can be serious or contagious. Because heat rash resembles other rashes in children, it can be difficult to recognize on its own.

Depending on the symptoms you describe, the doctor may or may not need to examine your child in person. If you do eventually need to bring your baby or toddler in, the doctor will likely know right away if your child has a heat rash or heat rash and will be able to help you treat it.

What to expect from a doctor

The doctor will check your baby’s rashes and look at their vital signs. They will likely ask you a series of questions to determine the situation around the heat rash (i.e., the weather conditions where you have been in the past few days, what your baby or toddler is wearing, cream/ointment you may have applied).

They will then note the location and physical appearance of the rash and tell you how to treat the rash. If the rash is at an advanced stage or is bothering your child, they may also prescribe a cream to treat it.

Your doctor will discuss what warning signs to look for for further intervention, including:

  • Widespread and darkened rash
  • The rash becomes warm to the touch
  • Purulent discharge due to rash
  • Fever above 100.4°F in your child

The treatment

The good news is that while heat rash or hives can be worrisome and bothersome for your child in some cases, it’s usually very treatable — and most treatments include home remedies. home remedies or over-the-counter medications and treatments.

Lifestyle change

There are some simple things you can do as soon as your child is diagnosed with heat rash:

  • Get your child out of the heat.
  • Cool the child’s body with a fan or turn on the air conditioner.
  • Take off excess clothing.
  • Make sure your child is drinking enough water.
  • If they’re wearing heavy, less breathable fabrics, change their clothes to something lighter or more breathable.
  • Wipe off creams, oils, lotions or moisturizers.
  • Let the moisture on your child’s body air dry.
  • Whenever possible, you should encourage your child not to scratch as that can cause further irritation.

Home Remedies

There are some simple remedies you can try at home to soothe your child’s heat rash and wait for it to subside. Including:

  • Keep your home cool with a fan or air conditioner.
  • Don’t let your child sleep under a thick blanket on warm nights.
  • Use cotton sheets for older children.
  • Stop using creams or oils on your baby’s skin, especially where the rash is.
  • Try applying a cold compress to your skin.
  • Try taking a cold shower without extra soap—adding a little baking soda can soothe skin.


Apply creams or over-the-counter medications only when directed by your doctor. Your doctor may also prescribe a stronger anti-inflammatory cream to treat the rash. Some topical creams that may have medications that doctors often recommend include:

  • 1% hydrocortisone cream (over-the-counter)
  • Calamine lotion (over-the-counter)

A very good word

If your baby or toddler has a heat rash or heat rash, don’t despair! First of all, remember that heat rash is very common for babies and toddlers. Even older children and adults get heat rash from time to time. Heat rash poses no immediate or long-term danger to your child and the rash will not leave a scar.

Also, keep in mind that if your child gets heat rash from you wearing clothes that are too tight or using creams or ointments that you shouldn’t have, don’t blame yourself. Most of us don’t even know that these can cause rashes – it’s a very common mistake. Parental guilt has no place here.

However, if you have any concerns about your child’s heat rash, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your doctor. In rare cases, heat rash becomes more severe or becomes infected. That’s why it’s important to check in with your doctor when you have any concerns.

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