Sweat rash, or sweat dermatitis, is a prickly rash of small, raised, itchy red bumps surrounded by reddened skin. Sometimes it can look like tiny blisters and cause mild swelling and broken skin. Sweat rash also causes a hot, prickling sensation, which is why it’s also known as heat rash, or prickly heat.
Sweat rash is very common and can occur anywhere on the body at any time.
What Causes Sweat Rash?
A natural yeast on your skin, known as ‘candida’, causes irritation when your skin’s natural balance is altered. This can happen when sweat from your glands doesn’t evaporate completely.
Prickly heat, exercise, excessive sweating, changes in skin or body care products, synthetic fabrics and tight clothes can all aggravate sweat rash.
Some people have sensitive skin that reacts to the fragrances or perfume in some products. They may also be allergic to ingredients like alcohol and aluminium salts.
Where Does Sweat Rash Occur?
Sweat rash tends to happen in places where skin rubs together, such as the armpits, the backs of the knees, between the legs, the groin, and between and under the breasts.
It can also happen where clothes rub against places where sweat is released, such as a sleeveless vest rubbing on your underarms.
How to Get Rid of Sweat Rash?
Most types of sweat rash will clear up naturally. If you are sensitive to perfume or fragrance, or have a history of eczema, then it’s a good idea to try a fragrance-free antiperspirant deodorant. You could also try using an emollient or moisturiser alongside your antiperspirant deodorant.
Making a few changes to your routine can also help:
• When exercising, wear loose-fitting clothes and choose fabrics that draw sweat away from your skin, like cotton and linen.
• If a new skincare product starts to irritate your skin, stop using it.
• Antiperspirants containing aluminium salts can stop your sweat, which can help prevent sweat rash, but they can also irritate the skin. If this happens, you may want to use an emollient cream or moisturiser with your antiperspirant.
Sure® Men Sensitive is specifically designed for sensitive skin, and Sure® Women Maximum Protection Sensitive Dry comes with a built-in moisturiser that can help keep irritation at bay.
How to Treat Sweat Rash?
There are several sweat rash treatments you can try:
• If sweat rash develops, wear lightweight clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton and avoid synthetic fibres.
• In hot weather, stay hydrated and keep cool by taking cooler showers and baths. A cold compress can help, but don’t keep it on the skin for more than twenty minutes.
• If your skin feels sore and irritated, speak with your pharmacist who can recommend a suitable calming product.
If you’re worried about a rash and not sure about treatment, always speak to your doctor or healthcare professional.