General home remedies against pimples such as toothpaste to disinfect the skin or the like should of course not be used on your baby. But what can you do against heat pimples in babies? Where do the pustules come from, and why does your baby only get heat pimples on some parts of the body?
Find out here everything you need to know about heat pimples in your baby.
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Heat Pimples In Babies: A Reason To Panic?
Heat is not good for the skin – but babies and toddlers are particularly susceptible. Because your child’s skin is so sensitive, heat pimples appear on babies when they are too warm. The red spots are harmless at first, but they also show that your child is not feeling well at the moment.
Harmless heat pimples in babies actually only indicate that your child needs to cool down. The heat pimples or sweat pimples, sweat blisters or heat rash called reddened skin with small pustules show up especially on vacation in the summer quite willingly. Because then it is really warm.
These are the symptoms you should watch out for:
- The skin is red.
- You will see spots or pimples on the reddened skin, sometimes even blisters.
- Your child does not show any pain, but scratches the affected areas (itching).
- Your baby is restless and irritable, cries quickly.
Your baby’s face, underarms, chest, and belly are probably the first places you will notice heat pimples. But please also pay attention to the diaper area and the bend of the elbow. Take a close look at the back of the knees and all other skin folds. This is where your child sweats particularly quickly.
Irritations occur particularly quickly where sweat sits on the skin and skin lies on the skin. If your child sweats particularly quickly or heavily, he or she is more susceptible to heat rash than other children.
Sweat Pores Clogged? Causes Of Heat Rash In Babies
Some children really suffer from the rash, become very irritated and notice a strong itching. Other children take it easy: with them, the rash is visible, but it doesn’t seem to bother them much. So it can be very different. But where do heat pimples in babies actually come from?
The sun is not to blame for the pimples, but sweat. If you sweat a lot, you cool your body with it. This is because the sweat sits on the skin, the water evaporates in the heat, and this draws heat away from the body. At least that’s the theory. But sweat is never just water. Sweat also contains various salts, and sebum often comes onto the skin with the sweat.
If the water evaporates, the other components of the sweat remain on the skin. They form deposits. And these deposits can clog the fine pores of the sweat ducts over time.
This also explains why children, and especially babies, get red spots on their skin more quickly, and why heat pimples are more likely to affect the baby than you: In adults, the pores are simply larger. It takes longer for them to become clogged with debris.
If the sweat ducts are clogged, the sweat can no longer be released through the pores. And it can no longer evaporate properly either. So the body’s own cooling system fails because of the overload. This increases the risk of heatstroke. Heat pimples are not dangerous for babies at first.
However, you should cool your child down when you notice the small pimples on the skin. Normally, heat pimples in babies disappear on their own after a few days.
What Helps Against Heat Pimples?
The heat pimples disappear after some time by themselves, you do not have to treat them. The body breaks down the deposits in the sweat ducts on its own. This takes a little time but does not require any support.
It is important that you provide your child with the necessary cooling: air-conditioned rooms are just as unnecessary as fans or complete undressing. If you encourage your overheated baby to do this, he or she is more likely to catch a cold. Better are the home remedies against pimples that even grandma knew:
- Go with your child into the shade.
- Loosen the clothes, so that air comes to the skin.
- In warm weather, let your baby wear only clothes made of natural materials such as cotton, wool, linen or silk.
- In acute heat, a bath in lukewarm water is pleasant.
- Dab your child with a damp cloth to cool it down in between baths.
- Make sure that your child drinks sufficiently.
In Hot Weather Children Need To Drink More
Powders and ointments or lotions only help to a limited extent against heat pimples. Some children react to the care products with even more clogged pores, extremely irritated skin, and severe itching. If the itching is too strong because of the heat pimples, you can use creams with zinc or silica.
Apply them wherever you see red spots on your baby’s skin. Diaper ointment or (if you are breastfeeding) a few drops of breast milk on the skin also have a calming effect.
More importantly, your baby should drink a lot. When he sweats, he loses a lot of water through sweat. This should be replenished. You can prevent heat build-up and heat pimples by always providing your child with enough water or unsweetened tea.
Even if your child is not fussy or loudly demanding drinks, you should always offer him or her something. Sometimes it doesn’t even occur to children that their discomfort could be caused by not drinking enough.
With breastfeeding children, it is often sufficient to breastfeed them more closely and simply to feed them more often. If you are already feeding complementary foods or if your child has generally switched to solid foods because he or she is already bigger, the small bottle of water must always be within reach.
There is no fixed amount that a child should drink per day. It depends too much on how much your child sweats, how much he moves, how he eats, what the temperatures are.
You can check if your child is overheating: just feel the back of the neck. If the skin there is moist and warm, you should help your child to cool down a bit. Especially at night, you should make sure that your child does not overheat.
Because in a sleeping bag, with thick pajamas or terrycloth bedding, your baby quickly gets heat spots. Light cotton is always a good choice in summer. Children should be in a slightly cooler rather than too warm sleeping environment anyway.
Is A Visit To The Doctor Necessary?
If you find a lot of heat pimples on your baby in the places mentioned above and it is indeed very warm, you should provide your child with cooling. A visit to the doctor is then not necessary. It is different if you notice red spots on the skin of the fingers, palms, or soles of the feet.
These are sometimes due to so-called dyshidrotic eczema. These do not heat pimples, even if red spots on the skin look like it at first. Pay attention to whether your child has red spots on the skin not only on the hands and feet.
Besides dyshidrotic eczema, scarlet fever, rubella and chickenpox are also possible. Especially if the alleged heat pimples do not disappear on their own and your child may still have a fever, you should consult a doctor.
In Medicine, Different Types Of Heat Pimples Are Distinguished
Sometimes heat pimples appear as small white blisters. This cluster of white blisters is called miliaria cristallina. They disappear as quickly as they appeared and are due to a spontaneous reaction to the heat.
Miliaria Rubra, on the other hand, looks like a rash. The skin is inflamed, and the red heat pimples stand out clearly on it. This type of heat rash may not occur immediately in your baby, but with some delay. But what if it is not heated pimples, but an emergency?
Sometimes heat pimples in babies are also mistaken for insect bites: When stung by a bee or wasp, the skin can also become very red, hot, and form red spots on the skin. You can recognize insect bites by a clearly visible puncture.
Make sure that there is no stinger left in the wound. If this is the case (this is common with bee stings), carefully remove the stinger. Usually, the venom gland is still attached to the back of the stinger. You should not press on it, because otherwise, you will push more venom into the stinger and thus into the wound.
With a pair of tweezers you can usually remove the sting without any problems. If your baby is not allergic to the insect bite, it is sufficient to cool the sting. Swelling and redness will disappear within an hour.
In case of an allergic reaction, it is important that you consult a doctor immediately. Depending on how strongly your child reacts to the insect venom, he or she may be in a life-threatening situation. This has nothing to do with heat rash or heat pimples!
How Long Do Heat Pimples Stay On The Baby?
White heat pimples disappear very quickly from the baby’s skin. As soon as your child has cooled down a little, the skin should look normal again. Red spots on the skin, pustules, or wheals, however, take longer. It takes at least a few hours after sunbathing or sweating, and often a few days.
Scratching is bad. Even if the baby’s heat pimples itch, you should make sure that your child does not scratch. This hurts the skin, bacteria and other pathogens get into it, and inflammation forms. And this can be painful. For this reason, an antipruritic cream with zinc is advisable.
If there is no itching, you should avoid skin care products. This is because powders, creams and ointments are applied to the skin – they get into the pores and can cause further blockages.
Sunscreen Is Not A Home Remedy For Pimples
Sunscreen is a good thing, of course. Above all, you should protect your baby’s thin, sensitive skin well against the harmful UV rays. Therefore, a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor belongs to the basic equipment. The cream is very effective against sunburn. However, it does not help against heat pimples.
On the contrary: if your baby overheats, the cream helps to clog the pores of the skin even faster. That’s why you will always hear that your child should stay in the shade – despite sunscreen with a high sun protection factor.
As a home remedy against pimples and especially heat pimples, shade is always good. Strollers, baby carriages, and cars should be equipped with sun protection. Dress your child in long-sleeved shirts and long, thin pants made of light cotton or linen.
The clothing provides shade, prevents sunburn, and is breathable. Choose loose clothing, which cools your child additionally. This is because, especially when moving, the slight draft of air under the clothing will dry the sweat on the skin and provide cooling. Red dots on the skin are no reason to panic.
Conclusion: Red Dots On The Skin Are Usually Only Harmless Heat Pimples In The Baby
If your baby shows red spots on the skin and sweats, it is most likely heat pimples. The small pustules heal on their own within a few hours or days. However, if your child also has a fever, does not sweat as much, or feels sick or dull overall, you should have the cause of the red spots on the skin clarified by a doctor.
It can also be so-called dyshidrotic eczema, scarlet fever, chickenpox, or another childhood disease. Heat pimples on the skin do not need treatment. However, make sure that your baby cools down, drinks enough, and does not scratch. If necessary, you can apply an ointment containing zinc against the itching.