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Heat rash treatments

Treatment for heat rash or prickly heat

If you’re experiencing heat rash, here are some things that may help:

  • When possible try to avoid sweating. Make sure there is good ventilation.
  • If your baby has heat rash, make sure they are not swaddled in too many garments and avoid plastic mattresses.
  • Try to wear loose cotton clothing which can help prevent you overheating and making the itch worse. Avoid fabrics which irritate your skin, like wool or scratchy fabrics.
  • A cool bath or shower may help provide short-term relief from any itching, but excessive showering or bathing should be avoided as this can reduce the natural oils that protect the skin and may make it worse.
  • There are medicines available to ease the symptoms of itching. Speak to your pharmacist for further advice and to make sure any medicines you take are suitable for you.
  • Your pharmacist may recommend calamine lotion (which helps ease itching) or antihistamine medicines.
  • Your pharmacist may also recommend a low-strength hydrocortisone cream. Hydrocortisone cream is a type of steroid cream used to treat inflammation.

You many need antibiotics if the area becomes infected.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your heat rash, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: September 2017

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Heat rash, prickly heat or miliaria looks like little red spots on the skin. It might appear if your child gets too hot. Its common and easy to treat.

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