Babies and heat rashes

Alternative names
Heat rashes and babies; Prickly heat rash; Red miliaria


Heat rash occurs in babies when the pores of the sweat glands become blocked. This generally happens when the weather is hot or humid. As the infant sweats, little red bumps and, possibly, tiny blisters form because the blocked glands cannot clear the sweat.


To avoid heat rash, keep your baby cool and dry during warm weather.

Some helpful suggestions:

  • During the hot season dress your baby in light-weight soft cotton clothing. Cotton is very absorbent and keeps moisture away from the baby’s skin.  
  • If air conditioning is not available a fan may help by evaporating moisture and cooling the infant. Place the fan far enough away that there is only a gentle breeze drifting over the infant.  
  • Avoid the use of powders, creams, and ointments. Baby powders don’t improve or prevent heat rash. Creams and ointments tend to keep the skin warmer and block the pores.

See rash, child under 2 years for details.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 3, 2012
by Gevorg A. Poghosian, Ph.D.

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