What is it? Your child may have heat rash if a series of deep red bumps appear on their skin after being exposed to a hot climate. Sunburn results from being overexposed to the sun, leaving the skin extremely red and possibly blistered.
Age to expect it. Generally, infants can contract heat rash, as their sweat glands have not fully developed. Sunburn, on the other hand, can affect kids (and adults!) at any age.
How long until it goes away? Heat rash usually clears up fairly quickly on its own once skin is cooled and out of the sun, while sunburns usually last between three and seven days depending on the severity of the burn.
Parts of body most affected. Heat rash usually appears on the torso. Sunburn can affect any part of the body that has been overexposed to the sun, especially the face, back, and arms.
Time of year to watch out for it. Not surprisingly, in the summertime, when the weather gets hot, the sun is shining more frequently, and skin is more exposed.
What causes it? A heat rash will surface when a child’s pores get clogged due to hot, humid weather. Sunburn is simply caused by too much exposure to the sun, particularly ultraviolet light.
Helpful tips. Heat rash can easily be avoided by keeping smaller children in air-conditioned spaces or fanned if outdoors. Dress them in lightweight, breathable clothing to help prevent overheating. For sunburn, the message is simple: wear sunscreen.
Home remedy hint. For sunburn, adding a few teaspoons of baking soda to cool bath water helps soothe the skin, along with slathering on some of the thick paste from an aloe vera plant.
When to consult a doctor. If heat rash doesn’t go away after a few days of the skin being kept cool, visit your doctor’s office, where they may guide you to use some calamine lotions or prescribe a topical cream. Call up your pediatrician if a sunburn begins to blister or your child develops a fever or other signs of infection.
Medical myths debunked. Baby powder does not prevent heat rash. And you don’t have to have fair skin to get a sunburn.