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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Heat Rash
October 2002

Q. As a child I was always fair skinned, but about 10 years ago I started developing bumps on my arms whenever I would go outside in the summer. They itch very bad and now I get them on my nose and ears. I have tried sunscreen and use Eucerin lotion, but nothing seems to work. All my doctor can say is to wear a long sleeve shirt but I am a big man and sweat a lot. I always look like I have been attacked by a bunch of mosquitoes. The burning itch gets so bad sometimes I have to use ice packs to get some relief. Is there anything you might be able to suggest to help me?

A. Your description is similar to that of a condition called heat rash, prickly heat, or miliaria. It is common in children but can occur in adults as well. It is thought to occur due to plugged sweat glands and can be quite uncomfortable. Correct treatment will depend on a clear diagnosis. Your doctor or a dermatologist can guide you on this matter.



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