Skin inflammatory (nontumor)
Folliculitis, perifolliculitis and disease of skin appendage

Author: Mowafak Hamodat, M.D., MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC (see Authors page)

Revised: 17 October 2018, last major update August 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Miliaria

Cite this page: Hamodat, M. Miliaria. website. Accessed October 20th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Obstruction of sweat gland ducts during high heat and humidity
  • Most often seen in children, but may affect any age
Clinical features
  • Miliaria crystallina: obstruction is within stratum corneum, resulting in small clear vesicles located on trunk with high fever and pronounced sweating
  • Miliaria profunda: seen in tropical climates, obstruction is at sweat duct, resulting in small papules on trunk and occasionally on extremities
  • Miliaria pustulosa: miliaria rubra with pustules
  • Miliaria rubra (prickly heat): obstruction within prickle cell layer, resulting in extremely pruritic erythematosus papules and vesicles usually located about the trunk and intertrigenous regions; common in infants
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Miliaria profunda

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Miliaria crystallina: subcorneal vesicle with few neutrophils; obstruction is within stratum corneu
  • Miliaria rubra: intraepidermal spongiotic vesicle
  • In both variants, lesion is centered around an intraepidermal eccrine sweat duct
  • Miliaria profunda: spongiosis of dermal portion of eccrine sweat duct; often with adjacent chronic inflammation
  • Miliaria pustulosa: features of miliaria plus intraepidermal or subcorneal pustules
Additional references