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We probably don’t need to tell you that too much time in the sun can do serious numbers on your skin. But aside from a gnarly sunburn, excessive exposure to the harmful UV rays can also trigger heat rash.
Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. Sweat gets trapped in the epidermis's sweat ducts and leads to anhidrosis, the reaction of non-sweating due to blockage of sweat ducts, resulting to itchiness and sometimes a burning sensation along with tiny papules at sun-exposed sites (the neck, behind the legs and arms near the elbow crease) that tend to get overheated. And while heat rash is known to impact young children it can affect anyone, especially those who sweat excessively.
According to Dr, Renée A. Beach, MD, FRCPC, Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, deeper and inflamed heat rashes, also known as Miliaria Rubra or "prickly heat" can also be the result of occlusive or heavy clothing or several layers of bedding. Severe cases of heat rash can lead to spots looking pustular.
When it comes to prevention, Beach suggests maintaining your temperature surroundings between 20- 23°C. “Avoiding heavy perspiration, having loose-fitting clothing that absorbs or channels away sweat (e.g. cotton/ silk fibre)”, she recommends. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests taking a cool shower or bath and exposure to air conditioning for even a few hours a day can reduce the risk of any heat-related illness.
If you’re currently dealing with an itchy heat rash, treating it unfortunately also involves patience. According to Beach, waiting for natural resolution takes about 14 days, because it takes that long for the highest level of skin layers to desquamate.
However, to relieve itch and discomfort experts recommend using lotion formulated with Zinc oxide, a medication (commonly found in diaper rash cream) used to treat rashes and skin irritation from burns, cuts scrapes. It works by forming a barrier on the skin to protect it from irritants and moisture. A true first-aid must-have, if you ask us.
To shop for zinc oxide solutions, ahead, we’ve listed a couple of options that are to relieve your heat rash.
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