Summer is the time for outdoor activities, lazing on the beach, picnics and more. But beware of Prickly heat rash - painful fallout of hot and humid summers. This uncomfortable condition is more common among children though adults experience it too. Caused by excessive perspiration, prickly heat can be kept at bay with simple steps.
Prickly heat and rash
In medical parlance, prickly heat is referred to as miliaria - a common condition that occurs when you are in a hot and humid place. Excessive perspiration wreaks damage on the outer surface of the skin. The damaged cells form a barrier and sweat gets entrapped beneath the skin. This moisture manifests as small red rashes or eruptions. They cause a stinging prickling feeling. The red eruptions arise as a result of blood vessels in the area dilating to cool the skin down.
Such bumps erupt on covered parts of the skin, where there is friction with cloth. Typically prickly heat rash appears on the forehead, upper back and chest and arms. Prickly heat is not just uncomfortable; it is a sign that the body is not reacting well to heat stress. Consequently, a person prickly heat is at greater risk for heat stroke. Cooling the skin usually makes prickly heat rash disappear. It often causes itching and gets aggravated on the use of oils and ointments.
Small babies and children and the elderly are at risk of prickly heat. So are those in sports or other forms of exercise or manual labor. While prickly heat normally goes in a few days, it can last for weeks if it is hot and humid. A combination of preventative measures and immediate treatment ensure quick recovery.
Prevent prickly heat rash
Natural remedies for the rash
Keeping your body cool is vital during hot harsh summers. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Cool fresh fruits like watermelon, lemon and musk melons are ideal to snack on. Drink tender coconut water, khus sherbets and barley water. You can apply rose water, aloe vera gel or sandalwood paste to the skin.