Sweat rashes can be an issue in themselves and often attract a range of additional fungal, or bacterial infections
The terms sweat rash and heat rash tend to be interchangeable in use. Quite logical, when both relate to conditions which are common in hot, humid climates, or in the summer but there are medical differences.
Heat rash, known as miliaria, occurs when the flow of sweat is obstructed. This can vary, from nominal discomfort, to miliaria rubra, known as prickly heat, to miliaria profunda, which brings large bumps in deeper layers of the skin and can become a chronic problem.
Time, cool compresses and loose clothing often deal with heat rash, although if this persists, the condition shouldn’t be taken lightly. There may be underlying causes and other diseases can be confused with heat rash.
If you have concerns, a visit to a dermatologist makes sense, although the conditions we treat more often are sweat rashes.
Intertrigo & Infection
Whilst heat rash can be exacerbated by parts of your skin rubbing together, this is the primary cause of a common skin rash know as intertrigo. A mixture of friction and sweat during warm times leads to visible inflammation.
Areas at risk can include underarms, or finger and toe webs, although parts of the male body are particularly susceptible. The genitals and buttocks are a common place for the unpleasant redness of intertrigo, perhaps peeling, or flaking skin.
Moist, damaged skin is a fertile breeding ground for bacterial, or fungal infection, which can appear in parallel with sweat rashes. Staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus, or candida (yeast) are common candidates.
The sore, red rash brought on by intertrigo is unwelcome and infection can worsen this, with increased itchiness, burning, broken, or weeping skin. With infections such as candida, you may notice a foul smell.
Prompt diagnosis matters and from a consultant dermatologist, can often be visual, a swab for microscopy, or bacterial analysis may be helpful. Treatment is readily available and effective.
This will depend on the nature of the problem, with antifungal, antibacterial and antibiotic medication all available according to need. Short term use of topical steroids can help to reduce inflammation.
There are less common rashes, or infections which may appear similar to sweat rash. Other medical conditions such as dermatitis, tinea, psoriasis, or erythrasma can also manifest in similar ways.
A good consultant and access to the latest diagnostic equipment should ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment, along with any helpful advice.
Some of us have a genetic tendency to skin disease, or other conditions such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) can be a cause. Deeper medical issues such as diabetes can contribute, or lifestyle choices.
Staff at our London clinic consider your overall health, alongside prompt treatment for the sweat rash you have. If we can help with any male dermatology condition, please get in touch for advice, or to arrange an appointment.