How to identify, treat, and prevent heat rash

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Worried about red bumps on your child's face?

When your child wakes up covered with angry little bumps, it’s normal to feel a little panicky. One anonymous ParentTown user found her child with bumps on her face, and wondered if it was infant acne.

parenttown heat rash

“Looks like it could be heat rash,” wrote Hui Q.N. Heat rash is also known as prickly heat or miliaria. It’s best to consult your pediatrician to confirm that it’s a heat rash, then treat accordingly, but it’s characterized by:

  • Tiny red bumps and redness on the skin.
  • The rash is normally itchy, and affected skin can feel like its burning and/or prickly (like something is crawling on it)
  • It commonly occurs on areas exposed to the sun, like the hands, face, neck, and elbow folds
  • It can also occur in areas covered by tight clothing like the groin, thigh creases, and buttocks.

Make sure to watch for signs of infection, which include:

  • Red streaks from the affected area.
  • Pus from the area.
  • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth
  • Fever of 38°C or higher
  • Chills


Heat rash are usually the result of blocked sweat glands, which can result from tight and heavy clothing that prevents sweat from evaporating; skin rubbing against other skin; and heavy creams and bandages that can clog sweat ducts.

Babies and small children are more prone to heat rash because their sweat glands are immature and they are unable to get rid of the sweat they produce. This is common when children are overdressed, bundled up for cold weather, or have a fever.

Click to the next page for remedies and prevention.

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