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Jami L Miller, MD
Section Editor
Mark V Dahl, MD
Deputy Editor
Abena O Ofori, MD


Eccrine miliaria (miliaria) is a common, transient cutaneous disorder caused by blockage within the eccrine sweat duct. It is also known as "sweat rash," "prickly heat," or "heat rash." There are three main types of miliaria – crystallina, rubra, and profunda – which are distinguished by clinical appearance as well as histologic findings (picture 1A-D). The type of miliaria that develops depends upon the level at which the duct is blocked.

The clinical features, diagnosis, and management of miliaria will be reviewed here.


Miliaria occurs most commonly under conditions of sweating. It is found in both children and adults. All types are found in all races. Miliaria occurs in both sexes, though in some studies men were more commonly affected due to outdoor activities or occupations.

Miliaria crystallina, also known as sudamina, is very common in neonates. Incidence peaks at approximately one week of age. Reports of frequency range from 4.5 percent [1] to 9 percent [2]. It has also been reported in adults. Congenital miliaria crystallina has been described.

Miliaria rubra is the most common type. It has been reported in 4 percent of neonates [1] and in up to 30 percent of people of all ages [3].

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: May 26, 2017.
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