Family Health Guide

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Rashes: Heat Rash

Small red or white bumps—about the size of pinpricks—can blossom when your baby's skin is overheated, such as from too much swaddling or, well, heat. Also known as prickly heat, it's most commonly found on the trunk.

Is it an allergic reaction? Nope. Heat rash happens when the bacteria that are normally present on the skin overgrow, stick together, and plug up sweat ducts. Mild cases can look just like little drops of water on the skin, which can progress to small blisters and red bumps. 

How to treat it: Keep your baby out of the heat and don't overdress or over-swaddle her. Removing excess clothing and exposing the affected area to cooler air will help heat rash resolve, usually in a couple of hours. Giving her a bath may help to cool her down and soothe the rash more quickly, though powders and lotions are unnecessary. For stubborn, itchy cases, talk with your child's doctor (a topical antibiotic may be needed).

By Kate Rope, from the November 2010 issue of Parenting Early Years