SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences

Information for Patients

View all Images (10)

Miliaria rubra in Infant/Neonate
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Miliaria rubra in Infant/Neonate

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.
Infants are more prone to developing miliaria, often seen in the first few weeks of life due to eccrine duct immaturity. The most common variants of miliaria observed in infants include miliaria crystallina and miliaria rubra. Miliaria profunda is rare in neonates.

Miliaria rubra has been reported to occur in newborns with type 1 pseudohypoaldosteronism, a condition caused by defective transepithelial sodium transport resulting in inflammation of eccrine glands from excessive salt exposure. This typically resolves upon stabilization of disease.

In infants, miliaria most commonly involves the face, neck, and trunk.


L74.0 – Miliaria rubra

72658003 – Miliaria rubra

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

To perform a comparison, select diagnoses from the classic differential

Subscription Required

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required


Subscription Required


Subscription Required

Last Reviewed:09/02/2023
Last Updated:03/24/2024
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Patient Information for Miliaria rubra in Infant/Neonate
Print E-Mail Images (10)
Contributors: Medical staff writer
Premium Feature
VisualDx Patient Handouts
Available in the Elite package
  • Improve treatment compliance
  • Reduce after-hours questions
  • Increase patient engagement and satisfaction
  • Written in clear, easy-to-understand language. No confusing jargon.
  • Available in English and Spanish
  • Print out or email directly to your patient
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Miliaria rubra in Infant/Neonate
A medical illustration showing key findings of Miliaria rubra (Adult) : Fever, Pruritus
Clinical image of Miliaria rubra - imageId=2037503. Click to open in gallery.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.