Prickly heat, or “miliaria rubra”, in medical terminology, is a rash identified by red, irritated or inflamed skin accompanied by a prickly feeling and an intense itching and/or burning sensation. It is common in hot and humid climates and is caused by sweat trapped under the skin, blocking the sweat glands.
It is normally found where skin touches skin, such as the torso, thighs, waistline, armpits, chest, back and groin.
Prickly heat can affect people of any age, but is most common in children and infants since they have underdeveloped sweat glands. Poor hygiene can also cause prickly heat, but it is rare. While prickly heat is uncomfortable, it is not a serious condition and will go away without treatment, but the following suggestions will shorten the duration and provide instant, temporary relief.
Avoiding Prickly Heat:
• Drink plenty of water during hot weather.
• Dress in loose, lightweight cotton clothing, which allows the skin to breathe.
• Avoid the use of heavy moisturizers, creams and ointments and contact with certain fabrics and/or material, particularly in hot and humid climates.
Prickly Heat Treatment:
• Avoid scratching the rash.
• Keep the skin clean, but avoid the use of harsh soaps.
• Dust the affected areas of the skin with cornstarch.
• Stay in a cool and/or well-ventilated environment.
• Bathe and dry off thoroughly before going to bed.
Home Remedies for Prickly Heat:
The remedies available at your local drugstore are often helpful in the treatment of prickly heat; however, the use of creams and ointments may actually aggravate the condition. The herbal and natural remedies mentioned in this article are safe, effective and have no side-effects. Oatmeal, baking soda and sandalwood, used in different fashions, all offer relief from the itching and inflammation of prickly heat.
Warm Oatmeal Bath
A warm oatmeal bath can ease the itch and lessen inflammation of prickly heat. Prepared packages of oatmeal bath are available at any drugstore, or as a cost saving alternative, you can make it at home. Grind unflavored oatmeal into a powder using a blender. Add 1 teaspoon of oatmeal to a cup of warm water; stir thoroughly. The oatmeal should dissolve and feel smooth. Pour 1 cup of oatmeal powder in to warm, running bath water. Soak in the tub as long as desired; repeat twice daily.
Baking Soda Cool Compress
Soak a clean wash cloth in a mixture a cup of cool water and a teaspoon baking soda. Baking soda relieves the irritation associated with prickly heat and the cool water eases the inflammation. Repeat this process four to five times per day for 5-10 minutes each application.
Sandalwood powder, found in natural vitamin and health food stores, helps ease the inflammation and itch of prickly heat. It is a cooling herb, effective in removing excessive heat from the body. It is an excellent remedy choice for children since it has no side effects. The treatment involves making a paste of equal amounts sandalwood and rose water and applying it to the affected area.
Sandalwood powder may also be dusted over the rash several each day after showering until it is gone. It is important to apply the powder to dried skin.
Other Natural Remedies for Prickly Heat:
• Neem soaps are also available in drugstores and bathing in this soap in the summer has been useful in the treatment of prickly heat.
• Drinking several glasses of citrus juices, such as orange, sweet lemon, watermelon and pineapple each day will cool down the body and protect it against external heat.
• Dusting a child with unscented talcum powder or baking soda also provides relief from prickly heat. You can also apply aloe vera gel from an aloe vera leaf to the area, or purchase a gel at a local drugstore with aloe vera as the main ingredient.
Have you suffered from this condition before? If so please let us know what prickly heat treatment worked for you in the comments below!
- Gum Abscess Home Remedies
- 30 Handy Home Remedies for Cold Sores
- What are the most Effective Herbs for Inflammation?
- The Recommended Anti Cancer Herbs
- 3 Must Try Herbs for Constipation