This Is the Number-One Skin Concern of the Summer

This Is the Number-One Skin Concern of the Summer featured image
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New data from beauty and wellness marketplace Fresha reveals the trending skin concern of summer: heat rash. Google searches for this uncomfortable rash are 329 percent higher than acne amid the changing weather, making it the most commonly searched skin concern in every state.

The data shows there is a nationwide average of 17,250 searches made around common skin issues every month, and nearly 6 thousand of those belong just to heat rash. And with the Farmer’s Almanac 2024 predicting another hot summer, it’s no wonder that this summer skin concern is already trending.

  • Daniel Schlessinger, MD is a board-certified dermatologist in Omaha, NE

What Is Heat Rash?

Common in babies, heat rash is skin irritation caused by blocked sweat ducts. The result is tiny bumps or pimples that can present as painful or itchy.

“It’s so common in young babies because their sweat glands haven’t fully developed yet,” explains Omaha, NE dermatologist Daniel Schlessinger, MD. “When it happens in adults, often there is something occlusive on your skin blocking the sweat from escaping—it’s common when people overuse products like vaseline or petroleum jelly.”

But not every summer skin concern is automatically heat rash.

“There are other rashes that appear in the sun that can be easily mistaken for prickly heat,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “The most common one is polymorphous light eruption, which is commonly called a sun allergy.

A sun allergy presents with a hive-like rash that’s caused by a sensitivity to sunlight that can look a lot like heat rash. But instead of calming with a cooler environment, people with sun allergy need to avoid the sun for a few days. It also typically starts in springtime, whereas heat rash is more of a summer skin concern.

Areas of Concern

Anywhere skin touches skin is considered ripe for heat rash, including under the breast or in skin folds, but it can appear anywhere on the body.

As you might have guessed, it’s most common in warm, wet conditions. Humid environments are the perfect instigator for heat rash, since excessive sweating and damp skin are key players in forming heat rash. That makes it a much more present concern for summer skin.

Treating Heat Rash

As soon as you can, you’ll want to get out of that humid environment.

While over the counter anti-itch medicine can help a bit with the symptoms, ultimately you want to cool skin off and dry it out. According to the Cleveland Health Clinic, people with heat rash should avoid using baby powders, ointments, scented lotions or lotions with petroleum or mineral oils that could clog your pores and make your heat rash worse.


There are some steps you can take before heading outside to mitigate your risk of developing heat rash.

“If you know you’re going to be in a humid and warm environment, I would suggest mixing up your moisturizer routine,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “You want to go for lightweight options that are less likely to clog those sweat ducts. You should think carefully before using a very thick, emollient moisturizer before going out on a hot day.”

Additionally, lightweight and loose fitting clothes are a good choice. This way there is less friction present to irritate skin and trap sweat.

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