Cool off. "Since prickly heat occurs when the sweat ducts are blocked and sweat leaks into the skin, the only way to reverse it is to be in a situation where there is no sweating for a while," says Norman Levine, M.D., chief of dermatology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Health Sciences Center in Tucson. Cool off, he suggests, by spending as much time as possible in an air-conditioned building for a day or two.
Wear loose clothing. Be selective about the clothing you wear and heat rash may vanish, according to Dr. Kenney. "Anything that will wick moisture away from the body and keep the skin dry will discourage heat rash." Whether you're recovering from heat rash or trying to avoid it, Dr. Kenney suggests that you "choose loose clothing made from cotton or polypropylene and avoid nylon, polyester or any tight-fitting clothes." This is especially important during the summer months.
Wash with mild soaps. To avoid the worst of heat rash, "wash with a mild, antibacterial soap," suggests Rodney Basler, M.D., a dermatologist and assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. "I would recommend Dial or Lever 2000, followed by a thorough rinsing and drying."
Take a baking soda bath. A baking soda bath can also be beneficial, Dr. Basler says. This will ease the itching and make you feel more comfortable while your heat rash is healing.
Just add a few tablespoons of baking soda to your normal bath water and stir it to dissolve completely.
Soothe with lotion. A number of over-the-counter skin lotions are designed to take the pricklies and itch out of heat rash. Warren Epinette, M.D., a dermatologist at Westwood-Squibb Pharmaceuticals in Buffalo, New York, recommends nonprescription lotions such as Moisturel that contain dimethicone. Calamine, the traditional poison ivy lotion, can also ease the itching and irritation caused by heat rash
Give it the dust-off. Want to prevent the return of heat rash in hot summer months? Besides wearing loose cotton clothing, you can also dust yourself with absorbent powders. Richard Berger, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, recommends the medicated powder Zeasorb-AF, available in most pharmacies. Cornstarch or talcum powder will also do.
Watch your weight. Just when you thought you knew all the reasons for weight loss, here's another one: Obesity often causes folds in the skin, which can become sweaty and irritated, says Melvyn Chase, M.D., a dermatologist in Phoenix. "People who are overweight tend to sweat more and generate more body heat, so they are more likely to have heat rash."