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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Heat Rash
August 2001

Q. After brief sun exposure my chest and neck will get red, and become intensely itchy. This has been happening for the past couple years in the summer. I have tried using different sunscreens, but they don't seem to help. Other than completely covering up, is there anything I can do to prevent this? And why would this happen?

A. Your description sounds like heat rash. This is more common in children but can occur in adults. It is thought due to a blockage of sweat glands, in which the sweat remains trapped under the skin surface causing small bumps to appear. Certain medications can cause sun sensitivity, so check with your doctor to confirm the diagnosis and get advice on treatment.




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