Since summer is drawing near, prickly heat is becoming a major skin condition that people may start experiencing. Being out in the sun for prolonged hours can be damaging to anybody’s skin especially when being overly exposed. Let us start our vital discussion regarding prickly heat!
What exactly is prickly heat?
Prickly heat which is also known to be called “heat rash” or “mililaria” is a skin irritation due to excessive sweating during the hot and humid summer weather. All age groups may get this but it most commonly occurs in babies and young children. This skin condition is most prevalent during the summer months because of the humid weather. Heat rash is usually self-limiting, meaning that it tends to heal naturally in a few days or so even without treatment. Very rarely will it become severe and need immediate professional medical care.
Heat rash is characterized as small red clusters of pimples or small blisters. The places it usually occurs more often are on the neck, upper portion of the chest, under the breasts, elbow creases and groin area.
Why does heat rash occur?
Since human sweat is a potent skin irritant, it may cause skin rashes. The sweat ducts and hair follicles on the skin are said to be plugged and those occluded glands with trapped sweat start the rise of tiny water bumps on the top layer of the skin.
What are the different types of heat rash?
The proper medical term for heat rash is “miliaria.” This is a skin condition in which tiny, little pinpoint, pink to clear bumps start to form over the face or neck area. The reason for this skin condition formation is when small sweat particles are trapped in the skin because of pores being blocked. The blocking then causes inflammation and itching around the affected area. It occurs during repeated episodes in hot, sweaty and humid environments.
The four types of miliaria are the following:
- Clear (miliaria crystalline)
- White /yellow (miliariapustulosa)
- Red (miliariarubia)
- Deep (miliariaprofunda)
The people that are most at risk for prickly heat are:
- Young children under the age of 4
- People who exercise in hot environments or stay out in the sun for prolonged periods of time
- Obese people
- People who are non-ambulatory or bedridden
- Military troops
How is prickly heat diagnosed?
In more common cases, this skin condition does not need evaluation because it rarely goes into a serious case in which formal diagnosis by a physician is needed. But in cases of which, physical examination of the skin and a history of recent heat exposure will be determined. In more resistant cases, a skin culture, microscopic exam from skin scrapings may be done.
Natural remedies for prickly heat:
- Focus on what you wear. To avoid scratching since this may introduce germs in the deeper layers of the skin, try wearing cool and light colored clothing
- Oatmeal bath. For a safe and effective prickly natural cure try out the oatmeal treatment. Get regular and non-sweetened oatmeal from your local grocery store and put in 3-5 cups of it in a lukewarm bath. You may do this twice a day to relieve the itching. This is also a great natural remedy for dry scalp.
- H20. It is always best to drink water all day and every day. At least 8 glasses a day. But during a hot day, consider drinking more glasses
- Baking soda. A great prickly heat natural remedy is mixing in a teaspoon of baking soda per cup of cool water. Dip a clean washcloth in this mixture and apply it on the rash for 5 to 10 minutes. Try doing this 4 to 5 times a day
- Stay cool. Avoid sweating by staying in a cool environment. Stay in an air-conditioned room or sit in a bath of cold bath water.
- Powdered bark of pipal tree and powdered brick. Try purchasing powdered bark of pipal tree and powdered brick from a herbal store and apply the paste on the affected parts of the body.
- Grind leaves of neem. Grind up leaves of a neem tree in water and apply it on the affected areas of the skin. Neem treatment can also be use as natural head lice remedy.
- Ice pack. Use a cold compress for immediate relief of the prickly sensation.
- Potato fix. An easy and effective prickly heat natural cure is applying a sliced raw potato on the affected areas.
- Ginger. Get freshly grated ginger and boil it in water and let it stay out to cool. You can use it during a sponge bath.
- Aloe vera gel. You can purchase this type of gel at herbal stores near you and it could really help you treat prickly heat. Apply a layer of this gel on the affected area 2-3x a day. For more soothing effects, leave it in the fridge.
Prevent prickly heat from the beginning by doing the following:
- When needed to be outdoors, make sure to stay in shaded areas
- Don’t wear heavy lotions and moisturizers
- Wear lightweight clothing and don’t pile on clothes as much as possible. Wear cotton because cotton breathes
- Stay away from harsh soaps
Make sure you stay away from unwanted skin conditions during the summer so you don’t have to feel uncomfortable being out in the fun. Follow the simply rules to keeping away from prickly heat or if you already have it, try out these safe and effective natural remedies to ease the discomfort of this skin condition.
By clicking on the image below, you can learn more about aloe vera as a miracle plant and the various conditions that it could help treat naturally. Besides prickly heat, it is proven to help cure many other conditions on the human body.