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Home :: Prickly Heat

Prickly Heat - Causes, symptoms and home remedies for the treatment of prickly heat

What is Prickly Heat ?

Prickly heat is a very itchy red skin rash, causing a prickling or burning feeling. It is medically known as miliaria. It may occur when you sweat a lot in hot or humid weather. Dead skin cells and bacteria block the sweat glands. The skin becomes inflamed with a spotty rash that may blister.

Prickly heat usually starts around the neck. If it is bad, it can spread down onto the chest and back and up around the ears and face, but it seldom bothers a baby.

Most forms of prickly heat do not need any treatment. The rash goes away eventually. It is more important to try to keep the baby cool. Don't be afraid to take off the baby's clothes in hot weather. After all, there's no evidence that early experiences with nakedness lead to children growing up to be nudists. The rash usually lasts for a few days and then disappears on it’s own. Although it may last longer if the hot and humid conditions continue.

Symptoms of prickly heat

  • Small, itchy red bumps on the skin
  • Prickly, stinging or burning sensation in the affected area
  • In the most severe forms, salt crystals may form in the sweat-gland ducts, producing small blisters.

Causes of prickly heat

Prickly heat is due the sweat glands becoming blocked when the weather is hot and humid. Dead skin cells and bacteria may block the sweat glands, leading to sweat being retained and building up on the skin leading to inflammation, which causes the rash.

Home remedies for the treatment of prickly heat.

  1. Gently wash skin with soft gauze and lukewarm water and pat on a mixture of one part alcohol to three parts boiled water after cooled. Dust with Talcum powder Or, use baking soda in a little water than dust with talcum.
  2. Try a cool compress. While a thin coating of mild, water-based moisturizing lotion may help stop the itching, cool compresses sometimes work better. Make a compress by dipping a washcloth in a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda per cup of cool water. Apply to the rash for five to ten minutes. Do this four or five times a day.
  3. Anti-histamine creams or medications will relieve the itch.
  4. Calamine lotion BP and natural oatmeal based creams can be soothing.
  5. Soak away the itch. To counter the itching that accompanies prickly heat, add some baking soda or a colloidal oatmeal product such as Aveeno Bath Treatment to a tub of tepid water or make your own oatmeal bath. A good soak will soothe the skin and take away the itching.

Prevention tips for prickly heat

  • Avoid overdressing.
  • Wear loose cotton clothing to encourage the evaporation of sweat and prevent further skin irritation.
  • Keep baths and showers cool· Leave a babies nappy off as often as possible.
  • Keep rooms cool (air conditioning will help).
  • Avoid heavy moisturizers. Tender newborn skin tends to be dry and in need of moisturizing. But heavy, oil-based creams can be a problem. 'Moisturize with a light, water-based lotion instead.

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