Heat rashes are a very common problem and it is a type of skin allergy which causes burning sensation and itching on the effective area. It can appear on any part of the body and can be so uncomfortable for a person suffering from this. Common symptoms of heat rash include red bumps on the skin and a prickly or itchy feeling to the skin (also known as prickly heat).
What are heat rashes?
Heat rash is a skin condition that can affect adults and children in hot, humid weather conditions and can be so much itchy and uncomfortable. Heat rashes can also develop when your pores get blocked and sweat can’t escape from your body. They can appear in various parts of the body like arms, legs, back, etc.
Causes of heat rashes:
- Heat rash occurs when pores become clogged and can’t expel sweat. This is more likely to happen in warmer months, in warmer climates, and after intense exercise.
- Heat rash is caused by exposure to a hot environment and it can be worsened because of heat exposure and overheating.
- Using thick lotions and creams can also lead to heat rash.
- It’s possible to get heat rash also in cooler temperatures if you wear clothes or sleep under covers that lead to overheating. Hence babies are more likely to develop heat rash because their pores are underdeveloped.
- Heat rash, or prickly heat, is thought to arise from plugging of sweat ducts and hair follicles on the skin.
Therefore there is not only one cause of heat rashes or preakly heat.
Types of heat rashes:
Miliaria is the medical term for the heat-related skin condition where tiny, pinpoint, and pink to clear bumps form over a body area like the face or neck. It is caused when small sweat droplets are trapped in the skin due to blocked pores. This trapping of sweat may cause inflammation and itching around the sweat pores. Miliaria is very common in infants but may also occur in adults. This condition occurs especially after repeated episodes of sweating in a hot, humid environment. Miliaria may look like small clear blisters.
There are three types of miliaria:
Clear (miliaria crystalline):
Mildest form, usually the blisters aren’t itchy or painful
Red (miliaria rubra):
Occurring deeper in the outer skin layer, itchy with red bumps, prickly heat found in infants and adults;
Deep (miliaria profunda):
The least common form, usual adults after repeated events of heat rash, flesh-colored lesions.
Tips to prevent:
- You should avoid wearing tight clothes as they don’t allow your skin to breathe.
- Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics.
- Try not to become overheated, especially in summers. Seek out air-conditioning.
- Use soaps that won’t dry your skin and have no artificial fragrances and dyes.
- Avoid strenuous exercise when it is very warm.
- Drink plenty of fluids to cool the body and to keep hydrated.
Home treatment for heat rash/prickly heat:
Most heat rash resolves without treatment, often within a day after changing to a cooler environment. The best way to prevent heat rash is to avoid sweating by staying in cooler areas, using fans, and limiting physical activity.
The following self-care steps and remedies may help to treat heat rash:
- The first step in treating heat rash is to wash the affected area with a gentle soap (for example, Dove non-soap cleanser or something similar). Next, rinse the area with water and gently pat dry with a towel. It is recommended to wash several times a day, especially after exercise, prolonged walking, or heat exposure.
- Remain in a cool environment and allow for adequate ventilation of the skin.
- Take cool showers or baths
- Rest in an air-conditioned room. If no air conditioning is available at home, safe retreats include indoor shopping malls, grocery stores, movie theaters, hotel lobbies, ice-skating rinks, bowling alleys, etc.
- Apply cool packs over the affected areas (do not leave packs on longer than 20 minutes per hour).
- Drink plenty of water for overall hydration. Water can help maintain cooler body temperatures.
(Note– I am not a doctor(dermatologists) therefore I am not suggesting any medication or creams to prevent heat rash. If you are facing severe heat rash allergy then I will recommend you to visit a doctor before it gets worse)