Heat Rash Home Remedies: 9 Natural Methods for Adults and Children

Heat Rash Home Remedies
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash – Hans Reniers

Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, can be a painful, itchy, and uncomfortable skin condition. Thankfully, heat rash is not usually a serious matter, and can be treated easily and naturally using home remedies.

While it is quite simple to treat heat rash with home remedies, it is important to understand where it comes from and how to identify it before learning all about the remedies.

What Causes Heat Rash?

As the name suggests, heat rash is caused by hot, humid weather. It occurs when excess sweat is trapped by blocked pores, causing an inflammatory response on the skin. The rash most commonly appears around the neck, groin, and under the arms, where there are folds of skin. But it can also appear anywhere on the body. Babies are very prone to heat rash, especially newborns. They are still developing sweat glands and have more folds of skin, so make sure to keep a close eye on them.

Over-exercising, tight synthetic-fiber clothing and long periods of bed rest may also cause heat rash.

Symptoms of Heat Rash

The symptoms of heat rash include clusters of red and raised bumps of irritated skin. An itching, prickling, and burning sensation may also occur, making heat rash a painful and uncomfortable skin condition to deal with. 

Heat Rash Home Remedies

Generally speaking, heat rash is not a serious problem. It often goes away on its own when cooled down, but this process can still be very uncomfortable. To help ease the symptoms, check out these ten all-natural, cheap home remedies for heat rash. Most of these heat rash remedies are recommendable for children, as they are kind to the skin and avoid the use of harsh chemicals or medicines.
Tip: Refrain from scratching the heat rash as much as possible. Itching can induce further irritation and potential infection of the skin.

1. Ice packs or cold cloths

Cooling down the skin is the best way to relieve heat rash, as it reduces itchiness, swelling and redness. Using a cold compress or ice packs is therefore the easiest home remedy for heat rash.

ice cubes
Ice cubes wrapped in a clean cloth will do the trick just as well as an ice pack. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Julio Pablo )

If using an ice pack, make sure you wrap it in a towel to protect your skin. You should never apply an ice pack directly to the skin. If you do not have an ice pack at home, simply wrap ice in a cloth, or soak a cloth in cold water.

Leave the ice pack or cold cloth on the problem area for around 5 to 10 minutes. You should not leave it on there for any longer. Remove the ice pack/cloth for the same amount of time, and then reapply, repeating the process until you feel some relief.

2. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a surprising but useful home remedy for reducing itchiness and inflammation of the skin. Making an oatmeal bath is thus an effective heat rash home remedy, as it is all-natural, gentle, and kind to the skin. To make an oatmeal bath, add 1 to 2 cups of oatmeal to a lukewarm bath. The water shouldn’t be hot, because this will irritate the skin further. Then soak yourself in the water for about 20 minutes. This remedy works especially well for children – but make sure you always supervise young kids in the bath.

You can also make a paste to apply directly onto the skin by mixing 1 cup of oatmeal to 1 cup of water. Combine until they form a paste, and apply directly onto the heat rash.

3. Take a cool bath or shower

One fast way to ease the pain and itchiness is to take a cold bath or shower. Cooling down the skin is a sure way to reduce the swelling and irritation of heat rash as it helps to unblock the pores. We recommend gently exfoliating the skin with natural soaps as well.

Read on: 6 Incredible Natural Bar Soap Brands

4. Sandalwood

Sandalwood is said to be anti-inflammatory, and so works well as a home remedy for heat rash. Combine 2 parts sandalwood powder with 1 part water to form a paste. Apply the paste gently to the skin. This should ease the pain and reduce the burning sensation of heat rash.

5. Aloe vera

aloe vera to relieve dry skin and heat rash
Aloe Vera is a tried and tested heat rash remedy. You can apply Aloe vera gel or use the plant’s leaves. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – CasellesInGold)

Aloe Vera is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. As a home remedy for heat rash, it works at cooling down the skin, relieving pain, and soothing swelling. Apply Aloe Vera gel to your heat rash to ease any burning sensation and discomfort. Because it is gentle on the skin, this method also works well for kids.

Read on: How to Propagate Aloe Vera: Tips and Tricks

6. Baking soda

Baking soda is a staple in most pantries and a versatile home remedy. It can relieve itching while also soothing the skin – perfect for an irritating heat rash.

Just mix 3 to 5 tablespoons of baking soda into a lukewarm bath (remember not to make the water hot). You can then soak in this for 20 minutes. Again, this works well for children too, as long as an adult supervises their bath time!

7. Neem

Neem is anti-inflammatory, and so can be used for many rashes, including heat rash. This home remedy can either be added to lukewarm bath water and soaked in for about 20 minutes, or made into a paste by combining 1 part water with 2 parts Neem powder. Apply the paste straight to the rash and leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off gently.

8. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is claimed to relieve itching and so can be an effecive heat rash home remedy. We recommend you add 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt to a lukewarm bath to soak in.

Note: If you are giving a child an Epsom salt bath, take care not to let them swallow any water. Epsom salt is also a laxative, and when consumed can cause diarrhea.

9. Prevent Heat Rash by Wearing Loose Cotton Clothing

Heat Rash Remedy: Wear Loose-Fitting Cotton Clothing
Loose-fitting t-shirts and shirts made from natural fibers keep the skin cool and can prevent heat rash. (Photo: CC0 Public DOmain / Unsplash – Gyan Shahane )

This home remedy for heat rash is an easy one. Wearing loose-fitting clothing allows air to circulate around the body, and so helps to keep the body cool. Breathable and lightweight fabrics like cotton or other natural sweat-wicking fabrics help with both preventing heat rash in the first place and alleviating the rash by keeping your skin cool. Avoid synthetic materials, which encourage sweating.

Heat Rash Tips for Children and Babies

To help prevent heat rash on children and babies, make sure to dress your child in comfortable, light and natural-fiber clothing. This will allow airflow to keep their bodies cool. Expert advice suggests that children should wear maximum one more layer of clothing than adults. Diapers should also be changed regularly to prevent wetness.
Read on: The Best 8 Organic Clothing Brands for Kids

Non-natural Remedies for Heat Rash

Other cures for heat rashes include Calamine lotion as well as antihistamine and hydrocortisone creams. These over-the-counter solutions relieve itching and swelling of heat rash. However, we recommend only using these after having tried our suggested natural home remedies without success. The natural remedies as listed above are gentle and soothing to the skin, safer to use on younger children, and in most cases much cheaper.

Note: Antihistamine can cause drowsiness, so it is not recommended you give it to children. Hydrocortisone cream should also only ever be applied to a baby’s skin under a doctor’s supervision and for short periods of time, and never under the diaper, as this can cause more irritation to the skin.

When to see a doctor

If your heat rash does not get any better or disappear after a few days of applying our gentle home remedies to the skin, we recommend that you speak to a healthcare provider. You should also contact a doctor if your rash seems infected. Symptoms of infected skin include oozing, white/yellowish fluid, pus, swelling, and flu-like symptoms.

Take special care with children. Bring them to see a healthcare professional straight away if they develop symptoms of fever, aching muscles, sore throat, and any other flu-like symptoms.

Important Information regarding Health-related Topics.

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