Natural Remedies for Heat Rash in Children

Prickly Heat rash is very common among children and can be very irritating. It’s proper name is “Miliaria” but it is also known as sweat rash, heat rash or prickly heat. There are lots of natural things that you can do to avoid heat rash and to help it get better.

What is Heat Rash and Why Do Kids Get It?

Heat rash occurs when kids get too hot. It is most usual in the summer and in hot climates. It is a common rash in childhood and it not serious but can be itchy and uncomfortable.

Prickly Heat Rash in Children by a pediatrician

We really love the summer months here in Spain. The weather is lovely and hot. At times it can be a little too hot. 

This year, Sebastian (2),  has been struck down with prickly heat rash. He's had it all summer. It comes and goes. Worse when the temperatures soar,  fading slightly when they drop a degree or two. 

He is spectacularly unperturbed by it. To me it looks very alarming but he is totally oblivious to it.

Related: 9 Awesome Fun Ways to Keep Cool in the Summer

A happy girl playing on the beach in summer. She doesn't have heat rash.

What Causes Heat Rash?

Prickly heat is due to a blockage of the sweat ducts. The sweat seeps into the skin and causes an irritation. It’s like an allergic reaction to the sweat being in the wrong place.

Babies and young children are more likely to get prickly heat as their sweat glands are immature.

They often get it in the folds of their skin where they sweat and the sweat can’t escape, for example under their chin or between chunky thighs.

Related: Signs of Dehydration in Babies

Avoiding Prickly Heat.

Avoiding the trigger and reducing the amount of rash is easier than treating it once you have it.

  • Stay cool in the heat.
  • Wear loose clothing that allows your skin to breathe.
  • Water is a great way to stay cool. (Go swimming or have a bath!)
  • Keep your child’s skin clean (use a gentle soap).
  • Avoid sweating.

Related: How to Help Your Kids Drink Enough Water

A happy little boy being thrown up in the air He doesn't have heat rash.

Sun Cream Can Make Heat Rash Worse

Although sun cream does not cause heat rash, it can make it worse. If it is greasy, it can contribute to the amount of sweat produced and stop the sweat from evaporating naturally.

Sun cream can also get into the broken skin and make the allergic reaction response worse.

Try to use a child’s hypo allergenic sun cream that doesn’t contain perfume or colour. If you can use SPF clothing instead, you can reduce the amount of sun screen that you use.

Related: How to Keep Your Kids Safe in the Sun

Prickly Heat Rash in Children is horrible. Here's how to avoid it and what you can do if your children do get it. By a pediatrician

Heat Rash Home Remedies

If your child does get heat rash, you need to keep them cool and avoid further sweating and exposure to heat.

If they are not upset and it doesn’t seem to worry them, you may not need to try any treatments.

There is no home treatment that is guaranteed to work but trying something natural and mild is a good start.

Happy children playing on the beach in summer. No sign of  heat rash.

Aloe Vera Gel and Prickly Heat

The vast majority of my readers said that aloe vera gel (or the actual plant if you have it) was the BEST thing for prickly heat rash. You can keep it in the fridge so that it is nice and cool. It soothes the skin and takes away some of the irritation and heat.

Other people also suggested:

  • Calomine lotion
  • Vitamin A Cream
  • Vitamin C Cream

Medicines for Prickly Heat Rash

If your child has very bad heat rash, you may consider going to the pharmacy or doctor for further treatment.

  • Antihistamine cream or medicine will help to reduce the inflammatory process and reduce the itch.
  • Steroid cream can also reduce the inflammatory process.
  • Antibacteria cream may be needed if it has got infected.

Prickly heat rash is normal mild and goes away by itself. If it persists, gets worse or your child is upset by it, take them to the doctor for a medical opinion.

Prickly Heat Rash in Children is horrible. Here's how to avoid it and what you can do if your children do get it. By a pediatrician

3 girls playing on the beach in summer. None of them He have heat rash.