Babies and skin rashes go hand in hand. While most suffer from diaper rashes, heat rashes or prickly heat rash is also not uncommon in infants. There is never a specific time at which a heat rash could develop in babies and toddlers- while most adults only suffer from this skin condition during the hot and humid months, babies could even develop it in peak winters. Let us study some effective ways to get rid of heat rash quickly in babies- and particularly determine if baby powder is the ideal solution for treating heat rashes in infants.
Baby and heat rashes: Causes, Signs and Symptoms
Heat rash or miliaria in baby occurs due to clogged sweat pores. As the sweat has no place to go thanks to the the dead skin and bacteria- it erupt on the surface of the skin in form of tiny blisters, bumps, pustules or papules. The skin’s sweat mechanism is totally disrupted giving rise to an extremely uncomfortable and itchy sensation.
In babies, heat rashes can give rise to following symptoms:
- Red and itchy skin rash on arms, upper body, elbows, neck, face etc.
- The rash usually starts in the form of reddening of skin and gradually gets very uncomfortable for the baby.
- If the baby scratches the rash, secondary skin infections might also occur.
- Fever, crying and irritability etc are some more symptoms seen in babies suffering from heat rashes.
While majority of the cases of heat rashes in baby occur in hot summer months, some parents who make tend to bundle up the baby tightly in winter clothing might also unknowingly invite a heat rash in their child.
How to get rid of heat rash in baby-is baby powder the solution?
Naturally, as a parent you would want to get rid of the heat rash on your baby as quickly as possible. Most heat rashes disappear naturally within a few days. However, in some cases, the rashes might persist or even spread and worsen. Though heat rash is not contagious, it can be exceedingly distressing for the baby and the parent.
What does baby powder contain? Is it safe for use on heat rash?
Parents can certainly dust the baby with adequate amounts of gentle baby powder on the rash. This will keep the skin dry and sweat free. Baby powder is a mild astringent that is known for treating various types of skin rashes in babies. It is mainly composed of talc or talcum powder and corn starch. Avoid using baby powders having perfumes, dyes and asbestos when using them for getting rid of heat rash in babies.
What else can you do to comfort a baby suffering from heat rashes?
Here are some other ways of treating heat rashes in babies:
- Keep its skin cool and dry.
- Bathe the baby in tepid water, as much as it can tolerate. You can even add some colloidal oatmeal powder to the tub bath water. This will help soothe the skin.
- Dry the baby gently.
- Apply baby powder all over its body.
- In summers, dress the baby in cool cotton clothes.
- Use a gentle fan to keep the baby cool at all times. Alternatively, keep the baby in cool well-ventilated or air conditioned environment. Avoid going out in the hot sun between 10 am to 4 pm. If absolutely necessary to do so, protect the baby with a hat and seek shade where possible.
- In winters, avoid wrapping the baby up in very tight, warm clothes.
What products help get rid of heat rash in baby fast?
- In case of severe heat rashes, apply some soothing calamine lotion all over the rashes.
- If you have an Aloe Vera plant in the garden/backyard, simply cut it open and apply the gel within to the baby’s rash. This will soothe and protect the skin preventing bacterial infections.
- Hydrocortisone cream available over-the-counter can also be applied on the rash in case they get very itchy.
- Avoid the use of very heavy oil-based lotions, sunscreens or creams on the baby. These tend to simply aggravate the rash by clogging the sweat glands further.
If, despite these precautions the heat rash appears to worsen, seek the advice of your pediatrician immediately. This is because; what you might think is a heat rash could even be eczema or some other serious skin condition. Do note that some baby powders and talcum powders tend to contain secondary or inactive ingredients that might further aggravate the rash and irritate the baby’s skin. So do select baby powders for heat rash that are devoid of perfumes, dyes and other harsh skin irritants.