Heat rash, also called sweat rash or prickly heat rash is caused due to excess sweat. The skin feels prickly and stingy. It is typical of hot and humid environment and is common in active people, infants and bedridden people as well. When there is excessive perspiration and not sufficient evaporation, the sweat glands get blocked and the sweat leaks into the surrounding tissue. This causes irritation and redness. Heat rash is, for the most part, harmless but sometimes causes high fever, dehydration and diarrhea. Sweat rash on stomach can be identified by red bumps on the skin that are itchy and feel prickly. Sometimes, the rash may be accompanied by fever. In this article, we will study how long a heat rash on stomach lasts as well as the best possible cures for it.
How to treat a heat rash on your stomach
- Sweat rash on stomach is easy to cure although it causes immense discomfort.
- Use prickly heat powder all over the affected area.
- Wear loose fitting clothes. Wear underwear made of cotton or other breathable fabric. The clothes you choose must absorb the perspired sweat in order to avoid blocking of sweat glands. Infants with heat rash on stomach may be dressed up in as few clothes as possible.
- Avoid oils, ointments, creams and moisturizers on the stomach area. This will aggravate the sweat rash.
- Keep the skin cool and dry.
- Take cool or lukewarm showers instead of hot showers. Hot water on the skin irritates the already delicate skin (due to existing sweat rash) and causes irritation and burning sensation.
- If you are overweight, the chances of sweat rash between the folds of your skin on the stomach and other parts of the body is high. Workout daily and take lukewarm showers afterward. Keep your body dry at all times.
- If the sweat glands on the stomach get infected due to excess rash, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics.
- Over the counter prickly heat powder and commercial prickly heat powder are highly effective for sweat rash on stomach.
- If the heat rash is chronic and recurs at the slightest change of temperature, see a dermatologist for a long term and permanent cure plan.
- Avoid exercising or playing sports in the heat.
- Try to stay indoors and protect yourself with an umbrella or a hat.
- Take frequent baths and wear clean cotton clothes.
- Use a ceiling / pedestal fan or air conditioning.
- If you live in a very humid location, use a dehumidifier.
- You could use a calamine lotion or a hydrocortisone cream (as prescribed) to relieve itching and irritation.
How long does heat rash on stomach last
- Sweat rash or heat rash on stomach typically lasts for 3 – 4 days.
- If the rash lasts for more than the said duration, consult a doctor.
- You should also consult a doctor if the rash is accompanied by fever.
- Other symptoms that accompany sweat rash that need immediate medical attention are headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and fever.
- If heat rash on the stomach does not subside within 5 days, or gives way to other symptoms, it could be a misdiagnosis. Other conditions that might look like heat rash are Staph infection, acne, eczema, allergies, reaction to new drugs and medication, or even Grover’s disease.
Things to avoid when you have heat rash on the stomach
- Polyester and nylon clothes.
- Petroleum jelly and other greasy creams and lotions.
- Scrubbing the skin on the stomach with loofah or a scrub (however mild).
- Staying in the sun for extended periods of time.
- Using sauna, Jacuzzi, hot tub and long hot baths.
- Tanning booths and lying in the sun at the beach.
- Not taking a shower or not changing clothes immediately after exercise.
- Spraying deodorants on the affected area.
- Use of tight fitting clothes.
Know what aggravates sweat rash
- Hot and humid climate
- Steam rooms
- Fever (however low)
- Tight clothes
- Perfumes, body oils and lotions, deodorants, creams and petroleum jelly
Home remedies for sweat rash on stomach
- Add soda bicarbonate to a bath and soak for a few minutes to sooth the swelling and keep sweat away.
- You can also sprinkle ground oatmeal in your bath to sooth the swelling and reduce itching. Epsom salts can also help.
- Sprinkle fine corn flour over your stomach to absorb sweat.
- Use an ice pack when at home to relieve itching and irritation.
- Use aloe gel for soothing the swollen skin.
- Wipe down the irritated skin with a soft washcloth soaked in peppermint water (add 2 drops of peppermint oil in water or add a handful of mint leaves).
- Take leisurely walks in open air, preferably after sun down and wear loose cotton clothes.
Heat rash on stomach is not a serious health hazard, but it is common, irritating and causes immense discomfort. Watch out for chronic heat rash and consult your doctor. Also keep an eye for other infections and skin afflictions that look like heat rash. If heat rash doesn’t subside in 5 to 7 days, consult a doctor.