What is A Heat Rash?
A heat rash, also called prickly heat (Miliaria crystalline, Miliaria rubra, or Miliaria profunda, in Hindi Ghamoria), is a skin disorder that is caused by heat and sweat. Prickly heat rash usually occurs in hot and humid weather during summers.
The following heat rash pictures shows that the rashes can spread to a large part of the body.
The heat rash in children look like adult heat rash.
It commonly occurs to those who suffer from excess sweat. It generally occurs in covered skin parts such as back, neck, shoulders, abdomen, armpits, upper chest and groin in adults and children. The face, soles and palms are generally not affected. It produces prickly 'pins and needles' sensation on the skin, so it is called prickly heat.
The heat rashes can happen to anyone of any age. However, heat rash is most common in babies since their sweat glands are under developed and do not function efficiently. Infant's diaper rashes develop due to prickly heat. In infants, the rashes can be on their neck, shoulders, chest, head, back, armpits and groin.
What does heat rash look like?
These are tiny red bumps on the skin at the affected parts of the body. (See the photo of heat rash)
Causes of heat rash
What causes heat rashes?
- The main cause of prickly heat rash is poor hygiene. When the sweat glands (ducts) become clogged or blocked by dead skin cells or bacteria, they become inflamed at the opening due to accumulation of sweat and natural oils inside the skin, causing itching and rashes.
- Tight-fitting synthetic clothes of nylon and polyester trap sweat and heats up the skin, so prickly heat is common in people who wear such clothes in summer.
- Obese people are more susceptible to heat rashes.
- Prolonged exposure in the intense sun can cause rashes.
- In India, it is believed that people who eat things like pickles and mangoes in summer excessively, can have prickly heat.
- In infants due to underdeveloped sweat ducts.
- Physical activity and hard work
- Some medications such as high blood pressure and acne medicines.
Heat Rash Symptoms
- The skin is covered with small blisters (bumps) (see the heat rash pictures), in countless numbers. The heat rash can be clear bumps, red bumps, intense itching, prickly sensations like goose bumps.
- There is no inflammation in the rash but the rashes can be painful. The skin becomes very itchy and irritating and one cannot stop scratching them. The itching can worsen by heat.
- The person may have little or no sweating at the heat rash affected areas, because his sweat glands are clogged in those areas.
- The person may feel fatigued and tired.
Once you have heat rashes, then you want to know how long does it last and how to get rid of them. Its remedy is the same for babies, children and adults. It usually go away in a few days on its own without any medical treatment. Severe cases of heat rashes can be treated at home with some care. The best protection against heat rash is its prevention. Following are home remedies for curing prickly heat.
- Stay away from the sun.
- Wear white and loose cotton clothes. Dark colors absorb heat.
- Do not cover heat rashes, allow moisture to dry so that they can heal faster.
- Sprinkle non-scented talcum powder or better corn starch or baking soda on the rashes. This will absorb moisture.
- Cool your skin with ice, rub ice on the affected area. Take ice in a cloth and put on the skin for a few minutes to get relief from itching from rashes.
- Drink plenty of fluids, mainly water to fight heat.
- Eat high water content fruits and vegetables to cool the body. Eat water melon, apple, pineapple, lemon and orange.
- Rub the juice of a lemon over unbroken skin after bathing may help to prevent heat rash.
Relief from Itching
- Keep the skin clean and dry. Take bath twice during summers to get rid of sweat and to prevent the rash from spreading further. Dissolve some baking soda or oatmeal powder in the bath water to treat itchiness. You can use a mild antibacterial soap for the bath.
Do not use a towel after the bath, allow the skin to dry in air.
You can use a cool compress by dipping a cloth in a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda added to one cup of cold water. Place the cloth over the rash for 5-7 minutes, 5 times a day.
- Take an aloe vera leaf and take out its pulp. Apply it on the affected area to get relief from itching.
- Apply olive oil to soothe the rash.
- Apply cucumber pulp on the skin, it has extremely soothing properties.
- Do not apply any creams on rashes that keep the skin warm and moist. Apply calamine lotion, it has very soothing properties.
- Vitamin A and C supplements can be taken.
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Disclaimer: Please note that the home remedies for heat rash are only for minor common symptoms and should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition like heat rashes. You should not rely on these remedies. Always consult your Doctor for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. You should also avoid using any of these remedies if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. The writer of this article or fatfreekitchen.com is not responsible in any manner.