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Miliaria rubra in Child
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Miliaria rubra in Child

Contributors: Haya Raef MD, Craig N. Burkhart MD, Dean Morrell MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Miliaria rubra, also known as prickly heat or heat rash, is the most common form of miliaria. Miliaria rubra is due to the obstruction of the intraepidermal eccrine sweat ducts. The resultant sweat retention and the escape of sweat into the dermis evokes an inflammatory response that manifests as papules.

The predisposing factors are hot and humid conditions, febrile illnesses, and occlusive clothing, dressing, or ointments (eg, Aquaphor).

There are different types of miliaria, each classified by the depth of occlusion of the eccrine duct.
  • Miliaria crystallina results from superficial obstruction of the eccrine duct within the stratum corneum. It presents as superficial vesicles with no surrounding erythema.
  • Miliaria rubra is caused by obstruction of the eccrine duct within the epidermis. It is the most prevalent form of miliaria and is characterized by 2-4 mm erythematous and uniform papules or papulovesicles with background erythema.
  • Miliaria pustulosa is a variant of miliaria rubra that occurs when pustules form and may indicate superimposed infection.
  • Miliaria profunda results from deeper obstruction of the sweat duct at the dermal-epidermal junction. It presents as skin-colored papules with possible associated hypohidrosis or anhidrosis.


    L74.0 – Miliaria rubra

    72658003 – Miliaria rubra

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    Last Reviewed:09/03/2023
    Last Updated:09/04/2023
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    Miliaria rubra in Child
    A medical illustration showing key findings of Miliaria rubra (Adult) : Fever, Pruritus
    Clinical image of Miliaria rubra - imageId=2037503. Click to open in gallery.
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