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Heat Rash

Disponible En Espanol

Care at Home

  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Heat rash is caused by blocked-off sweat glands. * It's common in hot, humid weather. * Here is some care advice that should help.
  • COOLING: * Cool off the skin to treat and prevent heat rash. * For large rashes, give your child a cool bath without soap. Do this for 10 minutes. (Caution: Avoid any chill.) Let the skin air-dry. Do this 3 or more times a day. * For small rashes, put a cool, wet washcloth on the area. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes. Then let the skin air-dry. * Dress in as few layers of clothing as you can. * Lower the temperature in your home if you can.
  • SLEEP: * When your child is asleep, run a fan in the bedroom. * During sleep, have your child lie on a cotton towel to absorb sweat. (Note: Only for older children age over 1 year.)
  • STEROID CREAM: * Use 1% hydrocortisone cream. No prescription is needed. * Put it on itchy spots 3 times per day. * Avoid hydrocortisone ointment. * Calamine lotion can also work.
  • DO NOT USE OINTMENTS: * Avoid all ointments or oils on the skin. Reason: They can block off sweat glands. * Be sure the rash isn't caused by a menthol ointment being used for a cough.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * With treatment, heat rash will clear up in 2 to 3 days.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Rash lasts more than 3 days on this treatment * Rash starts to look infected * Your child becomes worse


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

And when in doubt, call your child's doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.

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