Miliaria: Definition, Symptoms, Types, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

It is a common skin disease caused by blockage and / or inflammation of the sweat ducts.

Miliaria is frequently seen in hot, humid, or tropical climates, in hospitalized patients, and in the neonatal period. Heat rash is also known as a sweat or heat rash.

Heat rash is the generic group name for a number of skin problems that arise or are made worse by exposure to heat or overheating.

Common names for heat rash include heat rash. Heat rash is caused by exposure to a hot environment.

The symptoms of heat rash are the appearance of a rash and itching.

Heat rash is diagnosed by looking at skin changes and a history of heat exposure.

Heat rash can be prevented by staying in cool areas and wearing loose clothing.

What are the symptoms of heat rash?

Heat rash usually appears as small spikey bumps at the entrances to the sweat glands. In some areas, there may be red or pink patches of skin.

A more advanced heat rash may have a greater degree of irritation and large bumps, and raise red bumps. Some people with heat rash are very itchy, while others may not have irritating symptoms.

Any part of the body with sweat glands can be affected.

Characteristic heat rash areas include:

  • Method.
  • Neck.
  • Back.
  • Abdomen.
  • Ingle.
  • Under the breasts.
  • Elbow folds.
  • Buttocks.

Miliaria is the medical term for heat-related skin condition where small pinkish, pointed, pinkish bumps form over an area of ​​the body such as the face or neck.

It occurs when tiny beads of sweat get trapped on the skin due to blocked pores.

This sweat trapping can cause inflammation and itching around the sweat pores. Miliaria is very common in babies, but it can also occur in adults.

This condition occurs especially after repeated bouts of sweating in a hot and humid environment. Miliarias can look like small clear blisters or goose bumps.

Types of miliaria

There are three types of milestones:

Miliaria crystallina – The mildest form, blisters are usually not itchy or painful.

Miliaria rubra: appears deeper in the outer layer of the skin, itchy with red bumps, prickly heat found in babies and adults.

Miliaria deeply – less common form, usual adults after repeated heat rash events, flesh-colored lesions.

What causes miliaria?

Heat rash, or prickly heat, is thought to develop by plugging the sweat ducts and hair follicles in the skin. Occluded sweat glands with trapped sweat give rise to the tiny water bumps seen in this condition.

Human sweat (with its high salt content) is a powerful skin irritant and can cause skin rashes. It is important to wash off the sweat with mild soap and water.

What are the risks of heat rash?

Anyone can develop heat rash, especially in certain settings.

Some people are more prone to heat rash including:

  • Babies.
  • Children under 4 years old.
  • Athletes or people who exercise in hot environments.
  • Obese or overweight people.
  • Bedridden and non-ambulatory patients.
  • Individuals with congenital absence or decreased sweating.

What procedures and tests diagnose the cause of heat rash?

Most people who have a heat rash usually go to the doctor.

Persistent heat rash is usually diagnosed from the characteristic appearance of the skin on examination and a history of recent heat exposure.

Atypical or more resistant cases of heat rash may require skin culture, microscopic examination of skin scrapes, or, less commonly, a skin biopsy (surgical removal of a very small piece of skin with a local agent to numb the body.

This skin is sent to a pathologist for further examination.

Additional tests may be required to exclude other causes of a skin rash, for example:

  • Arterial infections.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Eczema.


Treatments for heat rash include cleansing the area with mild soap and water and, in more persistent cases, a mild steroid cream ( cortisone ).

10 Home Remedies to Relieve Pain and Other Symptoms of Heat Rash

Home remedies to treat heat rash include washing the affected area with mild soap and rinsing the area, then gently patting it dry. Wear clothing that allows your skin to breathe in a hot environment.

Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration in hot environments. Medical attention may be necessary if the heat rash does not resolve with home remedies.

Most heat rashes resolve without treatment, often within a day after changing to a cooler environment.

The best way to prevent heat rashes is to avoid sweating by staying in cooler areas, using fans, and limiting physical activity.

The following self-care steps and remedies can help with heat rash.

First aid

The first step in treating heat rash is to wash the affected area with a mild soap (for example, Dove soap-free cleanser or something similar).

Next, rinse the area with water and pat dry with a towel. It is recommended to wash several times a day, especially after exercising, walking for a long time or being exposed to heat.

Stay in a cool environment and allow adequate skin ventilation.

Take cold showers or baths

Rest in an air-conditioned room at 70 F to 72 F (21 C to 22 C) is therapeutic. If air conditioning is not available in the home, safe retreats include covered shopping malls, supermarkets, movie theaters, hotel lobbies, ice skating rinks, bowling alleys, etc.

Avoid skin-to-skin contact by placing a clean cotton cloth or cloth between skin folds, such as under the breasts or abdomen.

Apply cold compresses to affected areas (do not leave bags for more than 20 minutes per hour).

Mild cortisone creams like hydrocortisone (Cortaid) or prescription cortisone creams like triamcinolone (Triesence, Trivaris Intravitreal) may be helpful for stubborn rashes or the resulting eczema.

If necessary, apply these creams twice a day. For large areas, you should contact your healthcare professional.

The antihistamines oral, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can help reduce itching, mainly through the sedation associated with these drugs.


Undressing can keep the body cool, but it does not prevent the problem of sweat accumulation, especially under the breasts, the crease of the abdomen, between the folds of the buttocks and the places where the skin protrudes.

It may be best to use lightweight, absorbent, cotton fabrics that separate the crease areas of the skin.

People who don’t wear underwear generally notice more retained sweat and therefore more irritation in the areas between the buttocks and groin. Short-sleeved shirts and shorts are often helpful.

Drinking water

  • Drink plenty of water for general hydration.
  • Water can help maintain cooler body temperatures.
  • Dehydration can lead to general weakness and malaise.

What factors aggravate a heat rash?

  • High humidity.
  • High temperatures.
  • Jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms.
  • Fever.
  • Tanned.
  • Regular sweating or hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
  • Tight-fitting garments and non-breathable fabrics.

What are the complications of heat rash?

While heat rash does not lead to heatstroke, both conditions rarely occur in the same individual. Heat rash is a very common self-limited skin condition, while heat stroke is a rare, more serious, and widespread illness.

Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention. Heatstroke is particularly life threatening in frail, sick and elderly people.

What conditions resemble miliaria?

Many other rashes can resemble heat rash. Some of these other conditions include:

  • Folliculitis (a bacterial skin infection commonly with “staphylococci”).
  • Acne.
  • Eczema.
  • Allergic rash.
  • Medication reaction or drug rash.

Grover’s disease (also called transient acantholytic dermatosis) causes itching in the abdomen and chest that worsens with heat).

Niacin medications (in some individuals, they cause a temporary general body redness and a heat rash appearance that improves within a few hours).

When Should You Call A Doctor For Heat Rash?

If the rash does not improve or does not resolve with the home treatment described or worsens after several days, the patient should see a doctor to make sure there is no bacterial infection or other cause for the rash.

If the rash is accompanied by other significant symptoms (dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, etc.), the person should seek medical attention.

Seek medical attention immediately if you have a heat rash with these symptoms and signs.

  • Fever.
  • Headaches.
  • Sickness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Vomiting

 Can heat rash be prevented?

How to prevent heat rash

Move to colder environments, for example:

  • Oscillating air conditioning or fans.
  • Limit your physical activity in a hot environment.
  • Wear cool, breathable fabrics like cotton.
  • Avoid polyester and nylon clothing.
  • Maintain a comfortable room temperature with fans and air conditioning.

Babies should be kept comfortably cool and dry. Because infants and toddlers increase fat folds and diaper irritation, they often have rashes in the diaper area and in the folds of the abdomen (diaper rash).

Infant drooling can cause additional occlusion of the sweat ducts and hair follicles, leading to a heat rash on the cheeks of the face.

People in bed and in a wheelchair should turn and move to avoid constant sweating and occlusion in the same area.

What not to do when you have milestones

  • Don’t wear polyester and nylon fabrics in the summer.
  • Do not cover with ointments, petroleum jelly, or heavy creams.
  • Do not rub or rub the skin to remove heat rashes.
  • Don’t stay in the heat or humidity.
  • Don’t go in a hot tub, sauna or jacuzzi.