Need heat rash advice for warm weather

I do long trips from 3-day, 20 to 30-mile days to 8-day 180 mile trips.

My issue: Most of my trips are in South Florida salt-water areas and even in the winter we have days in the mid 80’s. If the weather is warm like this last weekend (I did a 3-day trip), I develop a heat rash that ranges from mild to severe.

If I was on a long trip, this could be severe enough to end the trip early. I’ve done a few fresh water trips and didn’t have this problem although the temperature was cooler on those trips.

Anyone know of a solution or something that may help? (other than paddle up north or only when it is cold out!)

no prescription needed. Wash- Dry- Apply. I don’t carry a first-aid kit on trips but I always take this. I haven’t tried it as a preventative measure but it solves the problem overnight.

This rash is actually a fungus which I always get on day 3 or 4. Once you get it use this Lotrimin cream until it is completely cleared up which takes me 2 days. It almost clears it up overnight but I continue using it for 2 full days and it never re-ocurred on a 49 day trip.

Thanx !!
I will buy some tonight! This has been driving me crazy and causing me to second guess my trip plans.

Something else
I agree on the Lotramin. But I had one last sumer on my chest of all places. Nothing seemed to help and it was itching like fire. Doctor gave me something and it did help some it but it wouldn’t away. Matter of fact it spread.

I bought some hydrocortizone to stop the itching and it was gone in 2 days. After 2 weeks of misery! Not sure what or why but when I stopped scratching it, it went a way. Might want to keep that in mind too.

above advice is good once you have the rash, but there are some steps to help prevent it in the first place. Try wearing a breathable, wicking fabric, rinse occassionally with fresh water to fet rid of salt deposits (salt water or perspiration). If you have areas that chae badly, try baby powder or vaseline.

Desitin ointment
from the baby aisle of the drugstore. If you find you get recurrent diaper rash in certain spots, rub some on before paddling, and you’re good to go. Seriously reduces my incidence of rashes.

Wearing soft, quick-drying clothing helps, too, but it doesn’t always work. The ointment always helps.

Thanx - Lotrimin, Vaseline, Cordisone
I tried the Lotrimin after the fact - it helped on my rash under my swim suit but did not help with all the red bumps all over my torso and back. I think my torso is probably the same as diaper rash while the suit rash was more like jock itch.

I also used benydryl roll-on liquid on my jock itch rash and it stopped the itching.

I wear a good breathable shirt but realize the worse part of my rash is where my life vest presses against me. Since we are on an 8-day trip with no fresh water available, washing is not an option (I do rinse my clothes that I may wear again in the salt water) although I will bring baby wipes to cleanse myself daily.

I use fresh sleep clothes and change as soon as I get camp set up so as not to be in my paddling clothes too long.

I’ve heard from several people to use vaseoline but to wipe it off daily. I will try that next trip and have a jar with me from now on.

My goal is to prevent this as much as possible but to also be ready to treat it so it doesn’t affect my trip adversely.

Thanks for all the advice.

Heat Rash
Ultimately prevention is the best measure as mentioned above. Another great measure not mentioned is when you are on shore for breaks and lunchs, take as much gear off as comfortably possible to allow you skin to dry.

Some have mentioned using vaseline (or other ointments). This is generally not a good idea as these bases are quite occlusive and can lead to blocked sweat glands - which is ultimately what caused the problem in the first place. If anything, just use an absorbant powder (i.e. Zeasorb - in Canada)

As far as treatment, the topical antifungals mentioned above are great as are the topical hydrocortisone. It is often good practice to mix the two CREAMS 50%/50% and apply SPARINGLY twice daily till clear and use for another 4-5 days after to ensure (if yeast infection involved) any remaing yeast infection is cleared up. As a note, many antihistmaine oints/creams/pens (i.e. Benadryl) can make a rash worse as many people are sensitive to them. Use the oral tablets whenever possible (i.e. bedtime).

Hope this helps!


Thanks again
I too was afraid of the vaseoline clogging my pores although a long distance paddler I know swears by it. He isn’t from South Florida where the heat, sweat, and salt water combine to cause skin irritations.

Since I paddle 30 + miles and am out actively paddling for 8 hours, the powder doesn’t work - it wears off quickly. I am literally wet from sweat and salt water.

I am thinking of changing shirts mid-day and using baby wipes or some other bath solution at the end of each day. I will use a combination of most of the advice I’ve been given.

Thanks everyone for their help and feel free to add more!