Sudamine in infants: symptoms, causes and remedies


  • 1 What is Sudamine
  • 2 What types of sudamine exist
  • 3 Causes of Sudamine 
  • 4 What to do in case of sudamine
  • 5 How to prevent sudamine

As soon as we see the pins appear and the skin becomes rough, the first thought is: "This is it, my son has caught a rash!". Yet, it's not always about rubella, chickenpox or measles. In the summer, if our little one fills up with red bubbles, it can be much more simply sweat. A trivial ailment destined to pass quickly. 

Sudamine should therefore not be confused with skin diseases and even with neonatal acne. In this case, the newborn has a myriad of tiny pimples that are caused by the hormones that the mother "passes". It is a completely physiological fact, which disappears exactly as it came, without involving specific therapies (HERE for more information). 

Let's see what sudamine looks like, what are the remedies and how it can be prevented.

What is Sudamine

The scientific name of sudamine is miliaria and it is an inflammation of the skin caused by the obstruction of the sweat glands. What happens in this case? That sweat does not evaporate, but stagnates in the more or less superficial layers of the skin with the consequent appearance of pins. Often, but not always, they cause intense itching. 

It can affect newborns, who have more delicate skin, but also older children. Adults can also suffer from it, for example after very intense physical activity or due to the use of clothing made of synthetic and non-breathable fibers. 

The areas where the rash occurs most frequently are the neck, chest, back and any places where there are skin folds, such as behind the knee, in the groin, in the crook of the arm, etc. . 

What types of sudamine exist

There are three main forms of sudamine, characterized by more or less obvious symptoms. 

  • Miliaria rubra: the obstruction of the ducts of the sweat glands causes the release of sweat in the deeper layers of the skin: what occurs is a local inflammatory reaction, with point-like and itchy vesicles. The affected area is red and rough.
  • Miliaria crystallina: form of sudamine that affects the most superficial skin areas. This is the mildest manifestation of the disorder and is localized on a superficial level. The vesicles, always punctate, are not inflamed and therefore there is often no itching or redness.
  • Deep miliaria: This is the most severe type of sudamine (but less frequent) since the obstruction of the ducts of the sweat glands has occurred in the deep layers of the epidermis. This form of the disorder presents with papules that are larger in size than the other manifestations of sudamine. Frequently they can cause burning or pain and lead to the formation of skin sores.

Causes of Sudamine 

  • Excessive heat.
  • Profuse sweating.
  • Sweat glands that are immature and still not fully functional.
  • Clothing too heavy for the temperature, both day and night. 
  • Non-natural fiber fabrics.
  • Use of obstructive and poorly transpiring creams.

What to do in case of sudamina

How to intervene if bubbles appear? They usually go away within a very short time. The important point is to relieve the sensation of itching and discomfort. For example, you can give your little one a refreshing bath, with the water temperature lower than the one you normally use to wash it. Cleansers are not essential, but at most you can dissolve a tablespoon of baking soda or corn or rice starch in warm water, which refresh the skin.

The use of ointments and creams should be minimized, if not avoided in order not to clog the pores and thus allow the correct transpiration of the skin. You can use the mother tincture of calendula which has important soothing properties. It should be diluted in water and then vaporized on the body. 

Opinions are conflicting on the use of talc (mentholated or not): for some it is able to decrease itching, for others it can close the sweat glands even more and worsen sudamine. Better ask your pediatrician.

For drugs, the usual essential rule applies: no do-it-yourself! Any antihistamines (by mouth or in ointment) to relieve itching or cortisone-based creams should be prescribed only and exclusively by the doctor. It will do this if there is an ongoing infection or if the symptoms become really unbearable for the baby. 

How to prevent sudamine

How to play early and avoid the boring pins? First of all, considering that the triggering cause is the non-elimination of sweat, all situations that hinder normal perspiration must be avoided. The first advice is therefore to absolutely ban all non-breathable fabrics: children (but it is also preferable for adults) should be dressed in clothes made of natural fibers, especially cotton and linen.

Secondly, as much as possible, try to stay in cool, ventilated and, above all, not very humid places. Air conditioning to cool rooms is not forbidden in the presence of babies, but must be used with due common sense: the fundamental thing is to try to lower the humidity, which is what makes you sweat the most. 

Try to cool the baby by taking frequent baths in lukewarm water. Hydration is also very important: make sure it does not remain "dry" of liquids. Dress him lightly and, if you feel like it, try changing the type of diapers. The disposable ones are practical, but have the drawback of heating a lot. The washable nappies are made of cotton, so they let the skin breathe without stagnation of sweat.

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