The presence of heat bumps on the skin or heat rash typically develop after prolonged exposure to heat or humidity. In most cases, the condition can be mild as a few small-sized bumps but can also develop into sore blistering on the skin. The heat bumps is one form of heat stress in which the body is overly heated and could no longer cool itself properly.
How heat bumps develop
The heat bumps are due to blocked sweat ducts. Once the body temperature starts to increase, it attempts to cool itself naturally by sweating. In case the skin stays wet from sweat for extended periods of time, the sweat can seep into the sweat ducts, thus causing them to be blocked and eventually inflamed.
Areas where heat bumps form
Heat bumps can develop on any part of the body. Some of the usual spots where they form include areas where skin-to-skin contact is continuous such as under the breasts or where the airflow is limited such as the groin. Other common areas where heat bumps develop include the skin folds in the neck and the chest.
Management of heat bumps
Once an individual develops heat bumps, it is vital to keep the skin as dry as possible in order to prevent the rash from getting worse or become infected. If possible, avoid friction on the skin especially when tight-fitting or constricted clothing are used. In case the rash develops in areas where the air flow is reduced, you can dab on baby powder to absorb the excess moisture.
In case heat could not be avoided due to work or other circumstances, it is important to take frequent breaks as well as provide the body a chance to cool down. If the bumps appear blistery, avoid opening them since this can cause infection.
Those who work in warm environments such as construction workers during the summer season as well as firefighters and those who are regularly exposed to high-temperature conditions face the highest risk for the development of heat bumps.
In addition, individuals who have weaker bodies such as infants, children and the elderly face a higher risk for developing heat bumps as well as other related heat stress symptoms.
Other possible causes
The warm weather is not the only factor that can cause an individual to become too hot and end up with heat bumps. In cold environments, many have the tendency to over bundle with clothes to stay warm. This can increase the sweating as well as reduce the air flow to the skin. Always bear in mind that the body temperature is also higher when an individual has fever, but extremely high fever can cause the development of heat bumps since the body is attempting to cool itself by sweating.