What causes sweat rash?
Sweat rash is a very common condition and can occur at any time. A natural yeast on your skin called candida causes irritation when your skin’s natural balance is altered. This can happen when sweat from your glands doesn’t evaporate completely.
Your skin can become itchy and irritable, with a red rash, a burning sensation or broken skin. Prickly heat, exercise, excessive sweating, changes in skin or body care products, synthetic fabrics and tight clothes can all aggravate sweat rash.
Some people have sensitive skin that reacts to the fragrances or perfume in some products. Or they may be allergic to other ingredients like alcohol and aluminium salts.
Where does sweat rash occur?
Sweat rash tends to happen in places where skin can rub together, such as the armpits, the backs of the knees, between the legs, the groin, and between and under the breasts. It can also happen where clothes rub against places where sweat is released, such as a sleeveless vest rubbing on your underarms.
How can I stop sweat rash?
Most types of sweat rash will clear up naturally. If you are sensitive to perfume or fragrance, or have a history of eczema, then it is a good idea to try a fragrance-free antiperspirant or deodorant. You could also try using an emollient or moisturiser alongside your antiperspirant or deodorant.
Making a few changes to your routine can also help:
- When exercising, wear loose-fitting clothes and choose fabrics that draw sweat away from your skin, like cotton and linen.
- In hot weather, if your skin gets irritable, stay hydrated and take cooler showers and baths.
- If a new skincare product starts to irritate your skin, stop using it.
- If a rash develops, wear lightweight clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton and avoid synthetic fibres.
- Antiperspirants containing aluminium salts can stop your sweat, which can help prevent sweat rash, but they can also irritate the skin. If this happens, you may want to use an emollient cream or moisturiser with your antiperspirant, or consider natural, sensitive skin or aluminium-free products – available for men or women.
If you’re worried about a rash, always speak to your doctor or healthcare professional.