Difference Between Eczema and Heat Rash (With Table)

Skin conditions are a genuine problem that affects many people across the world. Even toddlers are prone to be diagnosed by them. Eczema and heat rash are two different skin conditions that are most common among adults as well as children. However, recognizing each of them can often be an arduous task.

Eczema vs Heat Rash

The difference between eczema and heat rash is that eczema is a skin condition that generally affects a person for many years and requires continuous treatment and medications whereas a heat rash doesn’t last for much longer and usually clears up by itself. Unlike the former, a heat rash does not need continuous treatment.

Eczema most commonly goes by the name ‘Dermatitis’. It is a condition that causes inflammation of the skin, leading to redness, itching, and even rashes. In the short term, eczema causes small blisters on the skin. However, as years go by, the skin begins to thicken. The condition can affect small areas or even the entire body.

Meanwhile, a heat rash is not a chronic condition as the former. It is caused when the skin gets clogged, causing sweat to accumulate inside pores. The condition is characterized by small itchy rashes that often turn red and cause irritation. People living in hot and humid weather are more likely to encounter such a problem.

Comparison Table Between Eczema and Heat Rash

Parameters of ComparisonEczemaHeat Rash
CausesThe causes of this condition are obscure but are suspected to be environmental or genetic.It is caused due to the clogging up of sweat gland ducts.
DurationIt is generally a chronic condition that lasts for a long time.It is a short-term condition that does not last for long.
SymptomsIts symptoms can vary but generally include swelling, itching, blistering, scarring, and thickening of the skin.Its symptoms include small itchy rashes that turn red and cause irritation.
Areas AffectedIts symptoms appear on the wrist, neck, forearm, ankle, and thigh.Its symptoms appear on skin folds and areas that rub against tight clothes.
TypesIts most common types include Atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis.It has various types including Miliaria crystalline, profunda, rubra, hypohidrosis, pustulosa and tropical anhidrotic asthenia.
TreatmentThere is no cure for eczema but treatments that control inflammation and itching are administered.It can be treated by applying ointments and lotions, and even by wearing loose clothes.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that is suspected to be caused by environmental and genetic factors. It causes the skin to turn red and itchy, with blisters and thickened skin. People even experience rashes that can become very irritating. Problems in sleep and night-time itching can also affect the diagnosed person.

The condition can affect small areas or even the entire body at once. Common places in which symptoms appear include the wrist, neck, forearm, ankle, and thigh. These symptoms can often cause swellings and even leave scars on the body.

A common way to diagnose eczema is by assessing the patient’s history and location of symptoms. In doing so, the type of this condition can be determined. The most common types that affect people include Atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Lesser common types such as allergic dermatitis and stasis dermatitis also affect many.

Unfortunately, the cure for this condition is yet to be found. However, it is common for medical professionals to prescribe medications including antihistamines to treat symptoms. Several lotions and ointments are available over the counter to help with inflammation and itching. Doctors suggest lifestyle changes and sometimes even light therapy to prevent flare-ups.

What is Heat Rash?

Unlike eczema, a heat rash is a short-term skin condition that usually does not require treatment. It is known to affect the person for a considerably short duration and clear up by itself. The condition causes small itchy rashes to show up on the skin. These can be very irritating and can cause a person to scratch them uncontrollably which may lead to scarring.

A heat rash is also called a sweat rash. As the name suggests, it is caused due to the clogging of sweat gland ducts on the skin. When this happens, sweat gets trapped inside the pores and causes inflammation. People who live in hot and humid weather are more likely to come across such a condition.

There are various types of heat rashes that affect a person in different ways. These include Miliaria crystalline, profunda, rubra, hypohidrosis, pustulosa and tropical anhidrotic asthenia. However, their symptoms most commonly show up in skin folds and areas that get rubbed against tight clothing.

The treatment for a heat rash includes various soothing lotions and ointments. Wearing light and loose clothing is advisable. People who suffer from this condition can take cool showers and avoid sweat-causing activities. However, if the symptoms still persist, one must seek medical help.

Main Differences Between Eczema and Heat Rash

  1. The causes of eczema are obscure but are suspected to be environmental or genetic whereas heat rash is caused due to the clogging up of sweat gland ducts.
  2. Eczema is generally a chronic condition whereas heat rash is a short-term one.
  3. The symptoms of eczema include swelling, itching, blistering, scarring, and thickening of the skin whereas that of heat rash include small itchy rashes that turn red and cause irritation.
  4. The symptoms of eczema appear on the wrist, neck, forearm, ankle, and thigh whereas that of heat rash appear on skin folds and areas that rub against tight clothes.
  5. The most common types of eczema are Atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis whereas that of heat rash are Miliaria crystalline, profunda, Rubra, hypohidrosis, pustulosa and tropical anhidrotic asthenia.
  6. There is no cure for eczema but treatments that control inflammation and itching are administered whereas heat rash can be treated by applying ointments and lotions, and even by wearing loose clothes.

Conclusion

Eczema and heat rash can often be confused for each other because of the similarity of their symptoms. However, a major difference between them is that eczema is chronic whereas heat rash does not last for very long. Moreover, eczema requires ongoing treatments and medications so that the symptoms may be controlled. Meanwhile, heat rashes usually clear up on their own.

Another major difference is that the symptoms of each of the conditions generally appear in different parts of the body. While those of eczema appear on the wrist, neck, forearm, ankle, and thigh, those of heat rashes can appear on skin folds and areas that rub against tight clothes.

References

  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8539270/
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2012.05822.x
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