Prickly heat is a skin rash caused by trapped sweat under the skin. Sweat can become trapped when the narrow ducts through which sweat travels to the surface become clogged. Prickly heat tends to be more common in warmer, more humid climates. The condition usually appears on the torso and thighs.
Symptoms Of Prickly Heat
- irritation (prickling)
- small blisters
- large, red areas on skin
Causes Of Prickly Heat
The rash is caused by excessive perspiration, which damages cells on the surface of the skin. The damaged cells form a barrier that traps sweat beneath the skin. This moisture then builds up, causing the red, itchy bumps. When these pimple-like bumps burst and the sweat is released, it causes the stinging, prickly feeling from whence the name comes.
Heat rash usually goes away on its own in a few days. In severe cases, however, the condition may interfere with the body’s ability to regulate heat. This can cause fever, heat exhaustion and, believe it or not, even death.
Treatment For Prickly Heat
- keeping the skin cool and dry
- corticosteroid lotions
- Stay cool in an air-conditioned room or with a fan.
- Take a cool shower or bath, but don’t use a towel. Let your skin air dry.
- Keep the affected area dry.
- Body powder may be used, if this provides comfort.
- Avoid use of oil-based ointments, creams or lotions as these will keep skin warm and moist, aggravating, and perhaps worsening, the condition.
Some effective remedies for the treatment of prickly heat
- The cold water bath taken sometime after applying the watery paste of gram flour on the body brings relief.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (dhania) powder, 1 teaspoon nagarmusta (Cyperus scariosus) powder and rose/cold water as required to make paste. Mix them well and apply on the body. Leave it on for an hour and then take cold water bath.
- The paste made of powdered bark of pipal tree and finely powdered brick is applied on the affected parts all over the body.
- The powder of sandalwood dusted all over the body is effective in giving relief in prickly heat.
- The paste made of the seeds of jambul and applied over the body is effective in treating prickly heat.