The discomfort triggered by a heat rash can affect one’s performance while working out. Heat rash is also called as prickly heat or miliaria rubra which is instigated by exposure to heat. Once this skin condition is neglected, the rash can become worse and trigger heat exhaustion and eventually heatstroke. The best way to avoid a heat rash is to engage in a comfortable workout and being familiar on how to properly manage heat rash in case it develops.
Connection between exercise and heat rash
Even though fever and bundling up in warm clothes can lead to the development of heat rash, exercise is also known to trigger this condition. While exercising, the body starts to sweat in an attempt to cool itself. It is important to note that exercising in warm and humid conditions can cause increased sweating. This is the time when heat rash occurs, especially if the individual wears clothing that clogs up the sweating. The sweat ducts are blocked and irritated and allow the rashes to develop.
Indications of heat rash
While working out, the rash can develop and cause an uncomfortable itchiness or prickly sensation. Remember that this discomfort is accompanied by itchy, red bumps. This is quite common in areas where the clothes cover the body and friction is continuously present. Oftentimes, other areas that are affected include the chest, groin, neck, back or armpit. The base of the feet is not usually affected. In some cases, fatigue can also develop due to the inability of the body to freely sweat and results to overheating of the body.
Management of heat rash
Once an individual experiences a heat rash, the ideal way to manage the skin condition is to cool down the body to minimize the heat that causes the discomfort. During an exercise routine, it is vital to stop any activity and seek a shady, cool area, preferably one that has air-conditioning.
It is also vital to take off any constricting clothing and provide the individual with water to promote proper hydration. You can also apply a cool compress such as a sponge immersed in cold water over the affected area. This can minimize the discomfort or encourage the individual to take a bath using oatmeal oil.
Important considerations to bear in mind
The heat rash typically vanishes on its own within 2-3 days. In case the discomfort persists, it is best to set an appointment with a doctor. If the itchiness causes a break on the skin, an infection can occur and antibiotics might be needed to manage it.
Avoid using any perfumes, lotions, creams or antiperspirants on the affected area since these can block the pores and worsen the irritation. Rashes can be prevented in the future by avoiding exercise using constricted clothing and slowly acclimatizing to warm environments. If the individual exercises in a warm environment, it is recommended to start with 10 minutes of exercise in a day. If possible, it is best to exercise early in the morning or around sunset.