It can take different forms. The mildest form appears as tiny blisters that break easily and form fine scales. A more severe form can cause itchy red spots with little blisters which may be prickly or itchy in the heat. The spots last for a few days but may reoccur.
*** Where does it occur?
Miliaria is most common on the forehead, cheeks, eyelids and sometimes the nose. It can also occur where clothing such as elastic around the waist blocks the sweat glands.
*** What causes it?
In the first few months of life babies’ sweat glands can block very easily leading to various forms of miliaria. The use of too much moisturiser or tight clothing can block the sweat pores. Soaps and detergents may make the problem worse. Some of it may be caused by a yeast infection.
How is it prevented?
Keeping the baby cool in hot weather is important. Nappies should be checked often and changed if wet. Plastic overpants with tight elastic should be avoided. If moisturisers are used, they should be applied lightly and not too often. During hot weather avoid using thick moisturiser. Washing the skin with warm water and no soap may help prevent further irritation.
*** How is it treated?
Mild forms of miliaria need no treatment and will go away in time if the baby is kept cool and only light moisturisers used. Occasionally, a mild cortisone cream prescribed by a doctor may be necessary to relieve the itchy skin condition if it is inflamed. An anti-yeast cream may also be prescribed.
*** Important Points
• Keep baby cool in hot weather
• Avoid tight clothing
• Avoid using too much moisturiser
• Change nappies often
• Avoid plastic overpants with tight elastic waistbands
• Avoid soap if the skin becomes inflamed