We moved to Kenya in March. March is the hottest month of the year in coastal Kenya. It was brutal. Nate, Ben, and I all had heat rash until the weather cooled. I thought it was malaria-prophylaxis-induced skin sensitivity, until we all got it again the following March, when we weren't taking anti-malarials. And we have it again this year.
Internet advice about treating heat rash assumes it's not ongoing. "If you get a heat rash, go back into the air conditioning, drink some water, and take a shower." Wouldn't that be nice?
So I'm kind of bumbling along to find a treatment by trial and error, for the 4-6 weeks that we have it each year. By the end of March, I have to wonder whether my current protocol is working or whether the rash is getting better because the weather is starting to cool (just a tiny bit).
Most of my experiments are on Nate because his rash is the worst. Ben's and mine go away overnight almost every day. Nate's persists. It is mostly on his trunk, but also a little on his legs and face. His face looks the worst because he scratches it all day long. I think his is the worst because Ben and I have fans blowing on us all day, and Nate's classroom is stuffy. And they play outside in the heat of the day. When he's home over the weekend, he usually improves a lot.
My advice, at year 3 of heat rash:
- Limit outdoor (or "away from the fan") activities to before 10 am and after 4 pm. Stay out of the sun.
- If you get really sweaty, change clothes.
- If you are under 7 years of age, you can probably go without clothes for the most part. We call it "undies time."
- Add baking soda to your bath. Bathe (or wash the area that is rashy at least) more than once a day.
- Apply aloe to the rash. We have a cooling aloe that's for sun burn, but it is also very soothing to heat rash.
- Drink water.
- Take an antihistamine.
We found a cream today that we will add to our trial and error, which contains an antihistamine, calamine, and an anti-inflammatory.
I am looking for 2 products: a water-based lotion which contains colloidal oatmeal and Magicool Plus, which is a cooling and anti-itch spray specifically for heat rash. If I ever find those in this country, I will save them for next March to test out.
I wish we could prevent it entirely - or at least prevent it from becoming so miserable - but I think Nate will have to be older and start treating it himself.