Heatwave 2019: Have I got sweat rash? Prickly heat rash symptoms, causes and treatments and how to stop painful chafing

24 July 2019, 09:05 | Updated: 24 July 2019, 09:14

Sweat rash looks like small raised red bumps, and is itchy and sore. If you're one of the millions of sufferers during the heatwave here's how to treat it.

Warm weather can get us feeling hot under the collar - and itchy in VERY annoying places.

Here we investigate what sweat rash is, and the best way to treat and prevent prickly heat.

What does sweat rash look like?

Sweat rash, also known as prickly heat, summer rash, militia rubia, or heat rash can be identified by a series of raised red bumps on the skin.

The NHS describes it as small red spots, an itchy, prickly feeling, redness and mild swelling.

It is the same in adults and children, but it isn't infectious.

What is sweat rash?

The team at Canesten say that sweat rash is a "fungal yeast infection that occurs between the folds of your skin as a result of humidity, friction and a lack of ventilation."

It is caused when a blockage in the sweat glands causes sweat to become trapped in deeper layers of the skin.

Read more: This bra-liner will banish underboob sweat during the heatwave

Sweat rash can be identified by small, raised, red bumps
Sweat rash can be identified by small, raised, red bumps. Picture: Getty

How can you prevent sweat rash?

The main way to avoid sweat rash is to keep your skin cool so you don't sweat and further irritate the rash.

- Wear loose cotton clothing

- Use lightweight bedding

- Take cool baths or showers

- Drink plenty of water/fluids and don't become dehydrated

Read more: You can now buy 'chafing bands' to stop your thighs getting sore in hot weather

Sweat rash can appear anywhere on the body, but is common on the legs and other areas that get damp
Sweat rash can appear anywhere on the body, but is common on the legs and other areas that get damp. Picture: Getty

How do you treat sweat rash?

To calm the itching of prickly heat you can ask a pharmacist for an over the counter treatment like hydrocortisone cream, antihistamines or camomile lotion.

Alternatively, try one of these home remedies.

- Apply a cold, damp cloth or ice pack (wrapped in a tea towel) to the area for no more than 20 minutes

- Tap or pat the rash, do NOT scratch at it

- Don't use performed shower gels or creams