You don't need tests to diagnose heat rash. Your doctor diagnoses it by its appearance.
Avoiding overheating may be all you need to do for mild heat rash. Once skin is cool, heat rash tends to clear quickly.
More-severe forms of heat rash may require ointments you apply to your skin to relieve discomfort and prevent complications. Such topical treatments may include:
- Calamine lotion to soothe itching
- Anhydrous lanolin, which may help prevent duct blockage and stop new lesions from forming
- Topical steroids in the most serious cases
Lifestyle and home remedies
Tips to help your heat rash heal and to be more comfortable include the following:
- In hot weather, dress in loose, lightweight clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin.
- Spend as much time as possible in air-conditioned buildings.
- Bathe or shower in cool water with nondrying soap, then let your skin air-dry instead of toweling off.
- Use calamine lotion or cool compresses to calm itchy, irritated skin.
- Avoid using creams and ointments that contain petroleum or mineral oil, which can block pores further.
Preparing for your appointment
A doctor's appointment usually isn't necessary for heat rash. If your rash is more severe, you may want to see your primary care doctor or a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist) to be sure it's heat rash and not another skin disorder.
Before you go, it's a good idea to list questions you have about your condition. For heat rash, questions to ask your doctor include:
- What could have caused this rash?
- How can I treat it?
- Do I need to limit physical activity until the rash clears?
- How can I prevent it in the future?
Jan. 20, 2015
- Miliaria. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec10/ch118/ch118e.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2014.
- Miliaria. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/miliaria.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2014.
- How to beat heat rash. American Osteopathic Association. http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/heat-rash.aspx. Accessed Dec. 19, 2014.
- Ishimine P. Heat illness (other than heat stroke) in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 19, 2014.
- Pielop JA. Benign skin and scalp lesions in the newborn and young infant. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 19, 2014.