One of the ways that the body responds to extreme heat is to sweat to cool itself down. When the body is not able to cool itself off quickly enough, or excessive sweating has been present, the skin becomes irritated and can break out into a rash. This condition is called a heat rash. There are many people who are more prone to heat rashes than others. Some of the people who are more prone to heat rashes are infants, the elderly, obese or overweight people, people who are severely dehydrated, are chronically ill or on certain medications.
Heat rashes can occur on certain parts of the body. The most common areas that they occur are the chest, the groin, the inside of the elbows, the folds of the neck and underarm, and the upper chest. Heat related problems can exacerbate and can become serious if not treated. These can include heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Both of these conditions can be deadly if not treated properly.
What are some ways to avoid heat rash? The most common way is to use common sense and avoid getting overheated. If this is not possible then there are some things that people can do to minimize the problems that heat rash can cause. First cool off the body as soon as possible. Second, try to keep the affected area dry. The use of talcum powder is good for purposes such as this. People with heat rashes should avoid using a lot of creams or ointments as these keep the area moist. This makes a good area for bacteria to grow on the skin, moist, warm, dark areas are the perfect environment for bacterial growth.
Other ways to avoid heat rash are to drink plenty of fluids when the temperatures outside are high. Increase fluid intake during extremely hot days to compensate for fluids loss due to excessive sweating. Avoid alcohol as it tends to dehydrate the body. Do sensible things such as avoid strenuous exercise and activities during the hottest times of the day. Schedule such activities for morning or evening hours. Wear sensible clothing and replace salts and other minerals that have been sweated out in the heat of the day. Wear sunscreen to avoid overexposure to the sun. Go indoors and cool off at intervals during the day if possible to avoid overheating.
People who are overweight or obese should make sure that they clean extremely well in any area or fold of their skin. Deep down in the folds sweat and salts from the sweat can cause rashes. This can also cause break down of the skin if it is not taken care of.
Keeping these areas clean on a daily basis and dry will go a long way in preventing heat rashes as well as other skin conditions that can occur in these areas. As well as keeping these areas clean, applying powder to absorb any sweat or oils that might be secreted by the body will help keep down any moistness and also keep down any odor that might accompany the sweat in those areas. Frequent cleaning and powdering will allow these areas to keep the skin from breaking down or any infection or further irritation from forming.
There are certain medications that are taken by people with mental illness that can affect the amount of perspiration a person’s body makes. These medications include psychotropics such as Haldol and chlorpromazine. Some other medications that treat Parkinson’s Disease also can increase the risk of heat rash in patients. These medications also affect the amount of perspiration the body secretes. Other medications such as tranquelizers and diuretics can affect the fluid levels in the human body.