What is Prickly Heat or Heat Rash?
Prickly Heat or heat rash can appear on anyone, but infants and babies are the most affected. It is most common in the neck, underarms and groin where the skin surface overlaps. They affect usually in hot and humid conditions but may even appear in cooler weather when you are overdressed.
Any kind of skin problem caused by overexposure to heat is known as a heat rash. It is also associated with sunburn in which both of these skin problems is caused by the extreme heat of the sun.
Heat rash and the incidence of sunburn are prevalent during the summer months and particularly in humid environments. The condition is usually self-limited. Some people can get relief after a few hours while others may take a few days without treatment.
Symptoms of Prickly Heat or Heat Rash
- Skin around the neck, armpits, upper back and diaper area develops pink itchy rash. Sometimes the rash is accompanied by, fluid-filled blisters or tiny bumps.
- In severe cases, there maybe intense burning or itching.
Causes of Prickly Heat or Heat Rash
When there is profuse sweating, the pores of the sweat glands become blocked.The body’s natural way of cooling off by sweating is affected, and so the sweat is held within the skin and subsequently rash forms. It is more common in infants, as the sweat glands are still in the process of developing.
- Poor hygiene also plays a major role in the occurrence of heat rash.
- Occluded sweat glands would likely result to accumulation and stagnation of sweat, which is salty, and can cause irritation to the skin.
- Plugged sweat ducts may cause heat rash.
- Sunburn results as a compensatory mechanism of the skin to protect itself from extreme heat. It starts to form as heat rash blisters and scaling and peeling would likely occur the following day.
Prickly Heat Treatment, Cures and Remedies
- Over-heated skin should be cooled, by taking frequent cool or lukewarm baths.
- Use mild soap to prevent skin irritation and dry the skin thoroughly with a soft towel.
- Apply calamine lotion to the worse area to ease itching.
The major goal in the management of this condition is to alleviate the discomforts that come along such condition.
- Applying aloe vera to the affected area. Aloe vera serves as an antiseptic and cools the tissues.
- Washing the area with running water and soap.
- Do not apply direct ice to the affected site as this can just aggravate and make the skin condition much worse.
- Ointments and heat rash sun cream are available to help relieve the irritation of the heat rash.
- If you know the cause of prickly rashes, you can treat baby prickly heat easily.
Preventing Prickly Heat
- Avoid going in the sun on hot summer days between 11 a.m and 3 p.m.
- Sit in a cool room.
- Wear cotton fabrics during summer and preferably light colors as they help keep cool. Wear appropriate clothing.
- Avoid using creamy lotions as they can clog pores.
- Apply talcum powder to absorb sweat and keep you fresh.
- Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated.
Being able to know what causes these allows you to protect and be able to guard yourself from the factors that would result after sunburn rash. Below are a few precautionary measures you can observe to help decrease the likelihood of having heat rash and sunburn.
- Applying liberal amounts of sunblock or sunscreen before exposing oneself to the sun. Not only does this protect you from prickly heat rash but it also lowers the risk of skin cancer.
- Wear a hat or bring an umbrella to prevent sunburn looking rash.
- Hydrate at all times especially in hot and humid weather.