A mother holding her baby with heat rash close

Caring for little ones: treating heat rash in babies.

Have you noticed some little red bumps on your baby? Are you wondering what they might mean? It may be heat rash, a fairly common skin condition for babies, especially when it's warm out or if they're bundled up too much.

Understanding how to identify, treat and prevent this condition can help ensure your baby stays comfortable and rash-free.

What is heat rash?

Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, occurs when your baby's sweat glands get blocked, and the sweat produced can't get to the skin's surface to evaporate.

This causes inflammation that looks like a red, pimply rash, often found in the folds of the skin and areas where clothing causes friction. It's especially prevalent during hot and humid weather.

Overall, heat rash may produce small blisters or deep, inflamed lumps, some forms of which can be very itchy for your child.



What triggers heat rash in babies?

At CityMD, we believe understanding the cause is key to prevention. Here are the common triggers for heat rash in babies.

  • Warm weather. The most common trigger is simply hot and humid conditions. When it's sweltering outside, or if the room is too warm, babies are likelier to sweat, and this excess moisture can lead to heat rash​​.
  • Overdressing. It's natural to want to bundle up your baby to keep them warm, especially during the winter. But too many layers can trap heat and moisture against their skin. This is especially true with synthetic materials that don't breathe well. Choose light, breathable fabrics instead.
  • Tight clothing. Clothes that are too tight can irritate your baby's sensitive skin and make it harder for air to circulate. This can create a warm, moist environment where heat rash thrives.
  • Intense physical activity. Just like adults, babies can get sweaty and overheated when they're active, especially if they're bundled up too much during playtime or exercise.
  • Bedding. Heavy blankets or a warm sleeping environment can also contribute to overheating and sweating during naps or bedtime.


How do you treat heat rash in babies?

Most cases of heat rash clear up on their own in a few days with simple at-home measures. The primary goal is to cool the skin and prevent further irritation.

Here are some steps you can take.

  • Cool baths. A lukewarm bath can work wonders. It helps cool the skin gently and wash away sweat and irritants. After the bath, let your baby's skin air-dry instead of rubbing it with a towel, which might irritate the skin further.
  • Cool compress. Apply a cool compress, like a clean washcloth dipped in cool water, to the rash area to soothe the skin​.
  • Avoid certain products. While reaching for creams or ointments might be tempting, it's best to avoid anything that might further block the pores. If you're unsure, it's always a good idea to check with a healthcare provider before applying any new products to your baby's skin.
  • Dress appropriately. Dress your child in breathable clothing like cotton and ensure they wear as few layers as possible. Loosen your child’s diaper if it rubs against the rash area.

Is the rash persisting? Does your baby still seem uncomfortable? Consult a healthcare provider at your local CityMD to rule out any other conditions and get advice tailored to your baby's needs.


When to visit CityMD to treat heat rash in babies.

Most of the time, heat rash will clear up on its own with these simple measures. However, if you notice the rash isn't improving or your baby seems uncomfortable, it may be time to visit us at CityMD.

We're can offer the care your baby might need and offer personalized advice tailored to your little one's situation.


Final thoughts.

Remember, heat rash is a common part of many babies' lives, especially as they adjust to the world around them. With a bit of care and attention, you can help manage it comfortably at home.

But of course, we at CityMD are here for you, ready to support and provide the care your family deserves whenever you need it. Your baby's comfort and health are our top priorities. Together, we can ensure they stay happy, healthy and rash-free.

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Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.