There could be several heat rash risk factors that could lead to a person developing the sore, prickly condition. It begins with an uncomfortable feeling before the red, tiny blisters appear. It is often itchy accompanied by a prickling sensation that is at its peak when the person is sweating or during the hottest hours of the day.
While it seems that heat is the main factor why one would suffer from heat rash, there are also other reasons that contribute to it. Age, certain physical activities and climate in certain regions, are some of the factors that make some of us prone to suffer from it.
- Age – heat rash can affect everyone from all walks of life. However, infants are more susceptible because of their very delicate skin. The elderly too may be prone to developing the condition because of lack of physical activity causing some parts of their body not to receive proper airing.
- Physical activity – if lack of physical activity puts the elderly at risk of contracting the uncomfortable skin rashes, too much of it can also lead to developing heat rash. This happens because of excessive sweating as a result of the intensive movements.
- Tropical climates – heat rash risk factors include the general atmosphere in a region that has a hot, humid weather most of the year. The locals of these places are more susceptible to developing heat rash.
Who Can Get It?
As mentioned above, infants are vulnerable because they are mostly in bed and unable to turn when an area of their skin feels hot or sweaty. With their skin so fragile, irritation can be quick which then leads to heat rash.
The elderly risk parts of their skin that stay unexposed to circulating air for long periods of time due to immobility.
Obese persons are also at risk when large areas of their body experience constant skin-to-skin rubbing. They also could develop heat rash under a dense layer of abdominal fat that hangs like a piece of cloth (called panniculus) so that no air reaches the area.
The condition may also afflict patients who are confined to bed for a long time and more so if they every so often run a fever.
In all said situations, there is the tendency for the sweat ducts to be clogged and thus cause heat rash.
Understanding Heat Rash Risk Factors
The primary cause of heat rash is clogged sweat ducts so that perspiration gets trapped underneath the skin. When sweat is unable to evaporate, inflammation happens and rash ensues.
Why sweat ducts go blocked at times is not fully established except that dirt, oil and other skin debris cause it. Here are some factors:
- Undeveloped ducts in infants are delicate and they easily break. When this happens, sweat gets trapped beneath the skin and if not promptly taken care of, rashes could develop. This is very uncomfortable to babies who should never be made to wear heavy clothes especially during warm days.
- Intense physical activities are also heat rash risk factors that include passionate exercising, hard labor and working under the sun are reasons that make you sweat heavily. This often leads to development of heat rash.
- Heavy fabrics that do not absorb sweat or do not provide enough air circulation can also contribute to the development of the condition.
- Certain medications and heavy use of creams and ointments can also put you at risk because they too can cause blockage of sweat ducts.
Heat Rash Complications
Heat is the primary reason for heat rash therefore once the skin is allowed to cool, the rashes could go away without the need for medical treatments. But because the heat rash risk factors are always present, the occurrence could repeatedly happen and in some cases, complications come about.
Bacterial infection – those with sensitive skin and babies with tender skin may suffer from rashes that become infected with bacteria should the rashes remain ignored and the skin is not allowed to breathe.
Heat exhaustion – a person already suffering from heat rash may experience fatigue from too much exposure to warm temperature. If left untreated, the person may be at risk to suffer from headache, nausea, increased pulse rate, dizziness, low blood pressure and heatstroke.
It is quite easy to prevent heat rash from developing. Just make sure that you don’t expose yourself to too much heat and perspiration. If you can’t avoid perspiring, see that you cool yourself immediately after. Wear loose, comfortable clothes, go to air-conditioned rooms or cooler areas during a hot weather condition, constantly carry a hand fan with you, bathe regularly and you can say goodbye to heat rash risk factors.