Prickly Heat can turn out to be a nightmare in summers. For those with heat intolerance, it could cause 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 prick or sting the skin, causing irritation and inflammation. Prickly heat is a very common skin problem both among kids and adults during hot summers. These itchy rashes occur more in places where sweat remains trapped under the skin, like the neck, face, back, chest or thighs.
It is more prevalent in people living in hot humid weather conditions. Excessive sweating causes the blockage of pores of sweat glands and when they subsequently burst open, it results in small blisters causing skin irritation or prickly heat.
Normally prickly heat cures on its own when the temperature cools down but when it hits in the top of summer it bugs, especially the children.
The first remedy is to remain in cool temperature. Stay indoors in a well ventilated or air-conditioned area. Avoid going out during hot afternoons. Take a cold shower to minimize the impact of prickly sensation on the skin. Applying ice is also effective in soothing the skin.
Ice cubes or cold compress is very effective in reducing inflammation, itch and 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 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 sandalwood talc or any talcum powder to treat prickly heat, it is not advisable medically.
Baking Soda acts as an exfoliating agent in removing dead skin, dirt and cleaning the skin. This helps unclog skin 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 excess water, and keep it on the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
Fuller’s earth, popularly known as Multani mitti is used for beauty treatment, it 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 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. Grind fresh green Neem leaves with water, apply the paste, let it dry for 15 minutes and then rinse with cold water
Aloe Vera has immense healing and soothing properties and is a panacea for all skin problems. It is 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. This serves as an excellent home remedy for prickly heat.
Raw Mangoes cools down the body temperature. Boil raw cut mangoes, 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 immense cooling property soothes the skin. The high water content in cucumber keeps the body hydrated.
Heat rashes usually heal with these simple natural home remedies, which can be easily prepared at home. In case they don’t heal soon or some infection develops it is advisable to see the doctor.
by Pragya Sinha