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The only thing worse than sweating for hours on a hot, sticky day is realizing the steamy conditions ended up giving you a heat rash. You may notice it right when you get inside, or hours later when you get itchy skin after showering. For fast cooling relief, you might turn to a heat rash cream.

Heat rash is a red rash marked by small, blister- or pimple-like bumps and itching. In some cases, it can also cause mild swelling or burning. (There’s a difference between heat rash vs. sun poisoning, BTW.) It happens when sweat gets trapped in your skin from excess heat, humidity, or clothing. The problem often strikes around skin folds or where your skin is pressing up against clothing for a long time—think your arms or legs, neck, back, groin, underarms, inner thighs, under your breasts (aka, boob sweat rash), or around your waistband, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Heat rashes are generally harmless and will clear up on their own within a couple days. But because they can be uncomfortable, you may need something like a soothing rash lotion to tamp down itching while your skin heals. Here are our top picks—all dermatologist-approved.

How we chose

We tapped some top dermatologists to get their recommendations for the heat rash creams they suggest to patients. We also considered key factors that just, y’know, make a skin product really good, including:

  • Ingredients
  • Cost
  • Effectiveness
  • Ease of use

The 9 best heat rash creams

Ready for freedom from your annoying heat rash? Pick up one of these bottles or tubes and you’ll be feeling cool and comfortable in no time.

Best overall: CeraVe 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream — $9.79

All of our derms recommended a steroid cream with hydrocortisone for fast, effective relief. “It reduces inflammation, which makes it a helpful treatment for itchy, irritated skin,” says Brendan Camp, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. CeraVe’s cream in particular also delivers ceramides to fortify your skin barrier, so it stays healthier down the road. Bottom line: It’s an overall great anti-itch cream and product to protect your skin.

Key ingredients: Hydrocortisone, ceramides

Product size: 1 oz.

Keep in mind: You shouldn’t apply steroid creams more than three or four times per day, or for longer than seven days. (If you still need it by then, call your dermatologist.)


  • Small tube is easy to use on the go
  • Works for sensitive o

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