Prickly heat, also known as heat rash, shows up as little red bumps when your baby overheats. Children of all ages can succumb to prickly heat, but it’s most common in babies.

So why do babies overheat?

The short answer is: It happens when a baby gets hot, tries to sweat, and cannot.

“Heat rash develops when sweat becomes blocked, which is common with infants, and is trapped under the skin”, explains Dr Jody A. Levine, director of dermatology at Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of NYC. When sweat cannot get to the surface of the skin to evaporate and cool the body, it leads to inflammation that results in a rash.

What can you do about it?

Here are a few simple but effective steps you can take to keep your baby protected.

  1. Move your baby into an airy room to reduce the heat and humidity in the atmosphere surrounding your child.
  2. Take off any tight-fitting clothes and avoid synthetic fabrics. Instead, dress your infant in loose cotton outfits. You need to give the affected areas a chance to breathe.
  3. Keep your baby’s skin cool and dry. Apply a lotion like calamine, or a soothing liquid talc to major heat-trap and sweat-prone areas like the folds around the neck, armpits, legs and bottom. If you can find a liquid talc that contains anti-itch ingredients, that would be ideal. An excellent product is Ezerra Liquid Talc which is entirely plant-based and contains Stimutex-AS, a complex of anti-itch plant ingredients that relieves the irritation and itch associated with prickly heat.