What's Going Around

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The hot, humid weather is contributing to what's going around this week: heat rash.

Next week once school lets out, it's likely your kids will be spending a lot of time outdoors. But how can they protect themselves while enjoying the summertime?

Nurse Practitioner Linda Eckerson at McLaren Greater Lansing-DeWitt Family Medicine is treating it.

It develops when pores get blocked and sweat gets trapped under the skin. Immature sweat ducts, physical activity, and heavy creams or ointments can play a role.

Heat rash is more common in infants. They will usually develop a rash on the neck, shoulders and chest. Adults will develop a rash in folds of skin and areas where clothing causes friction.

There are three types of heat rash:

--Milaria crystallina is the mildest. You'll have clear, fluid-filled blisters and bumps that break easily. It's not itchy or painful.
--Milaria rubra is sometimes called prickly heat. You'll have red bumps and an itchy or prickly feeling.
--Milaria profunda is less common. It usually happens in adults. You'll have firm, flesh-colored lesions that look like goose bumps, and a lack of perspiration, which may lead to symptoms of heat exhaustion.

The best treatment is to reduce sweating by staying in cool areas and wearing lightweight clothing. If you experience itchiness, apply calamine lotion. You can apply anhydrous lanolin to prevent duct blockage. If the case is serious, your doctor may prescribe topical steroids.

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