How to reduce heat rash

Updated November 21, 2016

Heat rash can occur when your sweat glands are blocked and perspiration builds up beneath your skin. Since the body cannot sweat properly, the skin swells and an itchy rash forms instead. Anyone can get heat rash, but it is more common to see heat rash on young children or elderly people who may not be aware that they are overheated. It is important to know how to prevent and treat heat rash if you or a loved one become plagued with symptoms. Knowing the steps to take can help to reduce the rash and prevent a trip to the doctor.

Wear loose clothing if you know you will be spending the day in the sun. If your skin can breathe properly, heat rash is less likely to occur. You may consider wearing a flowing sundress or an oversized T-shirt and mesh shorts.

Get out of the sun if you notice heat rash forming on your skin. It is best to go inside an air-conditioned place. If that is not an option, seek shade under an umbrella or a tree.

Use moderate amounts of sunscreen by following the application suggestions on the bottle. Although sunscreen is important because it helps to protect your skin from UV rays, using an excessive amount can clog your sweat glands, making you more prone to heat rash.

Apply calamine lotion when you return home if your heat rash is making you feel itchy or uncomfortable.


If you are sitting in a porch area with no air conditioning, always plug in a fan if possible to promote air circulation.


Most of the time heat rash will clear up on its own. However, if your heat rash persists for a few days and you start to experience a fever or swollen glands, seek medical attention. If you have heat rash, do not apply bug repellent to your rash ridden skin. Bug spray will only clog your sweat glands and make the problem worse.

Things You'll Need

  • Loose clothes
  • Air conditioning
  • Sunscreen
  • Calamine lotion
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About the Author

Valerie Tandoi began writing professionally in 2004. She has been published in various print and online media outlets including: "New Jersey Business Magazine," "South Jersey Mom Magazine," "ASA-Dix Newspaper," "Happy Woman Magazine" and others. She also creates print and Web content for businesses. Tandoi holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Caldwell College and currently lives in New Jersey.