It’s sunny outside and you decide to go for a walk with your little one. After a few hours, you realize that something’s wrong with your baby. She’s scratching tiny bumps on her face and neck. Don’t be panic. This discomfort experienced by your baby is likely to be heat rash.
What causes heat rash?
The main cause of heat rash is sweat as a result of hot and humid weather or environment, physical activities, tight clothing, etc. Before blaming sweat as the culprit, you have to understand first how babies produce sweat.
Unlike adults, babies can produce sweat even though they do nothing. At first, newborns only sweat on their forehead. But as their body temperature rises, they need to release more body heat, which causes them to start sweating from other body parts.
Babies sweat as an attempt to control their body temperature. That’s why only by napping and feeding, they can have so much sweat.
This sweating process is the result of adaptation. In the womb, babies live in an environment that has a lot of liquid so they have enough humidity. Once they are delivered, their body starts adapting to the new environment and by time, their sweat glands start to work gradually.
Moreover, heat rash on babies is caused by sweat that cannot escape the skin. When your baby has too much sweat, it is likely that her pores are blocked. Therefore, perspiration cannot operate optimally, resulting in the appearance of small lumps or blisters.
Heat rash is typically not painful. But it can cause a prickly sensation that made your baby wants to scratch it. The good news is heat rash is not a serious condition. It’s not hard to treat heat rash and it normally disappears in two to three days. You can apply the tips below to get rid of heat rash on your baby.
Dry the affected areas
Before you dry your baby, undress her first. After that, wipe the areas that are sweaty using a baby-friendly fabric. By doing this, you let your baby skin breathe once again after the pores are being clogged by sweat. You may also want to fan her just to make sure that her body is completely dry.
Don’t use soap
One thing to remember is never to use soap to clean your little one. The substance that forms soap isn’t good for baby’s tender and delicate skin. Using one can irritate her skin instead. Alternatively, you can use products that are tailored specifically for babies.
Cream or mild cleanser can help cool down the conditions. However, extensive use of baby oils, creams or ointments can block the sweat ducts, which helps the production of heat rash. So keep in mind that you have to be careful to choose the right products. Or it’s better not to use any skin products at all.
Dress your baby in loose clothing
After you dry and clean the rash, dress your baby in loose clothing. Loose clothing doesn’t touch the baby skin too often and gives the dried skin to have more room to breathe. If there’s a scar left by the rash, loose clothing will prevent the scar from getting worse.
When to call a doctor?
Just because heat rash is not a serious condition, it doesn’t that you can take it for granted. You have to check if the symptoms below occur. And if so, you may want to consider calling your pediatrician:
- Redness or warmth around the affected area
- Pain and swelling
- Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck or groin