Prickly Heat can turn out to be a nightmare for those with heat intolerance in summers resulting in heat rash also known as miliaria in medical terms. Excessive sweating gives rise to bacterial infection resulting in blisters or small red round bumps that pricks or sting the skin causing irritation and inflammation. Prickly heat is a very common skin problem both amongst kids and adults in hot summers. These itchy rashes occur more in places where sweat accumulates like on the neck, face, back, chest or thighs.
It is more prevalent in people living in hot humid weather conditions. Excessive sweating cause the blockade of pores of sweat glands and when they subsequently burst open it results in small blisters causing skin irritation or prickly heat. Apart from excessive heat, prickly heat is caused in overweight people leading sedentary lifestyle.
Normally prickly heat cures on its own when temperature cools down but when in hits in the top of summer it bugs, especially the children.
First remedy is to remain in cool temperature, like air-condition or take cold shower to minimize the impact of prickly sensation on the skin. Applying ice is also effective in cooling temperature.
Ice cubes or cold compress is very effective in reducing inflammation, itch and reducing the prickly sting. Rubbing ice cubes over the rashes 2-3 times a day has a great soothing effect. Alternatively a cold water bath would reduce the intensity of prickly heat.
Oatmeal gives an instant relief from inflammation and itching due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing property. Ground one cup of oatmeal and mix it in a cold water bath tub . Immerse in this for 20-30 minutes twice daily for quick relief. It has a soothing effect on the skin.
Sandalwood paste/powder is an old age remedy for reducing prickly heat due to its immense cooling property. It cools the body temperature. Make sandalwood paste in rose water and apply on the affected areas, let it dry and then rinse with cold water.
Never use sandal wood talcum or any powder to treat prickly heat, not advisable medically.
Baking Soda acts like an exfoliating agent in removing dead skin dirt and cleaning the skin which helps unclog the pores by removing dead cells which relieves itching and inflammation. Soak a clean cloth in a solution of baking soda and cold water, wring out the extra water and keep it on affected area for 1-15 minutes.
Fuller’s earth popularly known as multani mitti used for beauty treatment is also an effective home remedy in treating prickly heat. Make a paste of multani mitti in rose water or plain water apply it for 15 minutes and rinse it with cold water. It reduces inflammation and skin irritation.
Margosa leaves also known as neem leaves is a natural antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties that helps soothe itching caused by prickly heat. Ground fresh green neem leaves with water, apply the paste, let it dry for 15 minutes and then rinse with cold water
Aloe vera has a immense healing and soothing properties and is panacea for all skin problems. It very simple to use, extract the aloe vera gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf and apply on the affected area for 15 minutes and rinse it off with cold water. It serves as an excellent home remedy for prickly heat.
Raw Mangoes cools down the body temperature. Boil raw cut mangos, you can squeeze the pulp mix it in water too with rock salt and sugar to make a drink or rub the boiled or baked raw mango pieces on the affected area.
Cucumbers are known as natural coolants whether applied topically or consumed raw. Apply raw thinly chopped cucumbers on the affected area for 15 minutes, it’s huge cooling property soothes the skin. The high water content in the cucumber keeps the body hydrated.
Heat rashes usually heal with these simple ayurvedic home remedies which can be easily prepared at home. If it doesn’t work or some infection develops it is advisable to see the doctor.
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by Pragya Sinha