Miliaria Rubra

September 14, 2005
David L. Kaplan, MD

This erythematous, papulovesicular eruption developed in a hospitalized patient who had a febrile illness that was accompanied by drenching sweats. Miliaria rubra, or prickly heat, is caused by sweat trapped in obstructed eccrine glands of the epidermis. Inflammation, irritation, and pruritus can occur along with the rash.

This erythematous, papulovesicular eruption developed in a hospitalized patient who had a febrile illness that was accompanied by drenching sweats. Miliaria rubra, or prickly heat, is caused by sweat trapped in obstructed eccrine glands of the epidermis. Inflammation, irritation, and pruritus can occur along with the rash.

Typically, miliaria rubra arises in hot, humid environments; the lesions also may appear on areas of the body that are occluded by tight clothing. Affected sites need to be kept dry and cool. The best therapy also is the best preventative-avoid sultry environments that induce sweating; wear loose, lightweight clothing; and use air-conditioning.