Heat rash, Sun rash — what’s the difference?

Too much heat can cause a rash. Too much sun can cause a rash. But what’s the difference?

Heat rash:

Heat rash, known as prickly heat or miliaria, often occurs during hot weather conditions. It can appear in areas where the skin folds or areas where tight clothing causes friction.

It's not related to sun exposure but happens when sweat ducts become blocked. Small blisters can form in sever cases, but normally an itchy rash will appear.

Most of the time, moving to a cool room will help to relieve symptoms. Other treatment options may include:

Ways to prevent heat rash:

  • Wear lightweight, loose clothing
  • Wear fabric that lets air get to the skin, such as cotton
  • Remove bandages or patches

Sun rash:
Sun rash can affect areas where the skin has been exposed to strong sunlight.

It usually appears as a red, itchy rash and can feel like the skin is burning. If the sunburn is severe, the rash may be accompanied by nausea and fever. Most sun rashes will retreat and subside within 10-14 days.

Aloe vera or anti-itch ointments can be helpful. Cool compresses or a cool bath can provide itch relief.

Sun rash can be prevented by using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply the sunscreen every two hours or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.          


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