It is not surprising that many parents confuse the difference between heat rash and eczema since they have similar symptoms. They are both common skin conditions that causes intense itching. Don’t worry as we are here to flesh out the key difference between heat rash and eczema.

The main difference between heat rash and eczema is that the former is caused by overheating while the latter is caused by allergens in the environment. These allergens include dust or detergents. Secondly, heat rashes heal a lot faster. Furthermore, they can both be triggered by intense heat.

Signs of heat rash

  • Tiny pimple-like bumps in folded areas, such as elbows, behind the knees, or neck. However, the upper chest and back are also prone to heat rashes.
  • Your baby becoming irritable.

Treatment

  • Keep your baby’s skin cool. In the case of winter heat rash, avoid swaddling your baby too much or too tight. If possible, try to use breathable swaddle blankets. During summer, try to let your baby remain naked for the majority of the day.
  • Bathe your baby with gentle products to prevent further irritating the skin.
  • Apply calamine lotion or 1% hydrocortisone cream to soothe her itchiness.

Signs of eczema

  • Can be in the form of red angry bumps, raised itchy patches, or dry scaly rash around the face, mouth, eyes, neck, upper body, arms, or legs.

Treatment 

  • For mouth, cheek, and chin area: apply vaseline, 1% hydrocortisone cream, or breastmilk to soothe inflammation.
  • Bathe your baby is mild cleansers. Look for products made for sensitive skin.
  • Moisturize your baby with dermatologically approved lotion or cream. Try CeraVe, Vanicream, or Eucerin.

In summary, to tell the difference between heat rash and eczema, think about how the rash looks like and where it is located. If your baby has a dry scaly red patch around her eyes, it’s definitely eczema. When your baby has angry red bumps that can be a heat rash or eczema, you will know what’s the cause depending on how persistent it is. However, if the symptoms are very similar, try to eliminate the causes to each sign until you reach a sound conclusion.

If your baby’s conditions escalates, we recommend that you take your baby to see either a pediatrician or dermatologists for further steps. On the other hand, if you are still unsure about the difference between heat rash and eczema, you can try taking your question to a baby forum or visiting a specialist.

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