The discomfort triggered by heat rash can disrupt the usual workout routine of any individual. Heat rash or prickly heat develops due to exposure to heat. If not dealt with right away, the rash can become worse and progress to heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. It is vital that you are familiar with the indications, management and preventive measures for heat rash especially when working out during warm weather.
Why heat rash occurs during a workout?
Even though fever and dressing heavily can lead to the formation of heat rash, exercise can also trigger the skin condition. While exercising, the body starts to sweat in an attempt to cool itself.
Working out during warm and humid conditions can trigger even more sweating. This is the time when the heat rash occurs, especially if the individual is wearing constricted clothing that hinders the body from sweating freely. Remember that the sweat ducts can end up clogged and irritated and the rash eventually sets in.
Indications of heat rash
While working out, heat rash can cause uncomfortable itchiness or stinging sensation. The discomfort typically occurs along with reddened, itchy bumps that cover the affected skin. This is usually the region where the clothes cover the body and friction occurs.
Oftentimes, it is the chest, neck, back, armpit or groin that is affected. The base of the feet and the face are not usually affected. In some cases, fatigue can also set in due to the inability of the body to freely sweat and the body starts to overheat.
How to manage heat rash
Once the individual is suspected with the rash, the ideal way to manage it is to cool down the body to minimize the heat that is causing the discomfort. While exercising, it is best to stop the activity and allow the individual to rest in a cool shaded area, preferably with air conditioning.
Any tight or constricting clothing must be removed and properly hydrate the body. You can also apply a cold compress such as a sponge immersed in cold water on the affected area to minimize the discomfort.
Considerations to bear in mind
Always bear in mind that heat rash eventually subsides within 2-3 days. In case the discomfort lingers, a doctor should be consulted. If the itchiness urged the individual to break the skin while scratching, an infection might develop and antibiotics are needed to treat it.
Avoid using creams, lotions, perfumes or antiperspirants on the affected skin since these can clog up the skin pores and trigger further irritation. The ideal way to prevent future rashes is to avoid exercising using tight clothing and slowly allow the body to acclimatize to the warm environment.