Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"When I take a shower I occasionally break out in heat rash all over my body. Why is this happening?"
I am a 28 year old female. In the past, I have only experienced heat rash when I am working in the yard and sweating a lot, but now it sometimes happens in the shower. It only happens once in a while and I have no idea why it occurs. When it happens, I sometimes also feel a bit lightheaded. The rash often lingers on my body for more than an hour after I get out of the shower. I do have sensitive skin, but only allergies to pets have produced rashes on me in the past. I take Zyrtec for allergies and am on Yasmin birth control.
It is likely that the rash you are experiencing after the shower is not really the same as heat rash. Heat rash occurs when small sweat glands in the skin become plugged due to excessive sweating and debris on the skin; it usually clears up with skin hygiene and maybe some gentle exfoliation. The rash that you get after the shower sounds more like a "dry skin" rash. These develop because the hot water and soaps from the shower tend to strip out the skin's natural protective oils and moisture. This is worse in winter months, as the cold dry air often has the same effect on the skin. Treatment of this rash involves limiting the time of the shower and also avoiding very hot water and soaps. Upon exiting the shower, you should immediately pat dry, avoiding rubbing or friction on the skin. Then, you should immediately apply a good skin moisturizer. The best moisturizers are greasy ones, like hydrolated petrolatum. This is because they are heavy and trap in the skin moisture better than standard lotions and creams. I suggest talking to your primary care doctor if these symptoms continue, as additional treatment of the rash may be needed.
Need more info?See a doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.