If you stay in a hot and humid place, you are obviously aware of the ‘Miliaria‘ or prickly heat. They are the very itchy tiny sweat rashes on your skin that make you more uncomfortable in the already hot climate. The severe heat rashes might need treatment given by your physician but the mild prickly heat may be cured with the help of some very effective home remedies for prickly heat. But how would you know whether you suffer from mild or advanced heat rashes from sweat? So, let’s first know what is prickly heat, what does it look like and what are the levels of miliaria or the sweat rashes?
What is Prickly Heat or Miliaria?
Miliaria is the medical term for the heat rashes popularly known as sweat rash or prickly heat. It can be called a skin disease- inflammation of skin having spotty small and itchy rashes or eruptions which give a feeling of burning or pricking. The prickly heat occur typically in hot and humid months of summer. This is because in hot weather, people tend to sweat more. This sweat when comes in contact with sebum, dust, bacteria and dry skin give rise to a thick, sticky substance which blocks the sweat glands. This causes prickly heat. Heat rashes affect people of all ages but is more common in babies and infants as their sweat glands are underdeveloped.
Levels of Prickly Heat
Prickly heat can be superficial, mild or severe and all of these levels have different medical terms to describe them.
It is the superficial prickly heat where a person suffers from multiple tiny blister-like lesions without any symptoms.
This is the most common form of prickly heat that can be identified by many. It shows typical red spots on chest, neck and shoulders. In this level of miliaria, obstruction causes leakage of sweat go into the deeper layers of the epidermis which results into local inflammation (red blister like lesions but not more than a few millimetres in size). This form of prickly heat has typical symptoms like itching or “pricking with pins and needles”.
This type is the most severe form of prickly heat which rapidly spreads all over the body and causes severe burning sensations. It generally occurs due to repeated instances of miliaria rubra. In this stage, the rash tends to be seen as flesh coloured and not like red blisters of miliaria rubra.
Home Remedies for Prickly Heat
Prickly heat are very irritable and hamper smooth running of your daily routine. So, always try to prevent these heat rashes because as the saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’. When you go out, try to stay in shaded areas. Avoid applying moisturizers lotions. Always wear loose clothes, better if made of cotton as the synthetic clothing tend to trap the sweat. Take bath using cool water, if possible twice or thrice a day. Avoid excessive heat and humidity whenever it is possible. Drink plenty of water during hot weather and have fruits and vegetables with high water content The common treatment for prickly heat is to apply non-perfumed talcum powder or the specially made prickly heat powder for four to five times a day. However, the home remedies for prickly heat are more effective for relief and they treat without any side effects. Here are some home remedies for prickly heat that will give you relief from your heat rashes.
- Use arrow root powder instead of talcum powder for heat rashes
- Dust your body with baking soda or sandalwood powder. Their cooling effect heals up the heat rashes fast.
- Rub an ice cube on heat rashes to get quick relief from the burning sensation. You can also use cold compress or ice pack.
- Take two tablespoons each of coriander powder and sandalwood powder. Add enough rose water to make a thick paste out of it. Apply the paste on your prickly heat rashes and let it dry. When dry, wash it off with cold water.
- Take henna powder and make a thick paste with cold water. Apply this to cool off the pricking heat rashes. However, this might leave the area reddened due to the coloring effect of henna. You can apply this home remedy for the prickly heat rashes that would get covered with clothing.
- Take some neem (margosa) leaves and make a paste by grinding with water. Apply this on sweat rashes. Neem has antibacterial properties and can heal the infectious blisters of advanced miliaria.
- Take powder of sandalwood powder and alum powder. Make a paste using water and apply on heat rashes.
- Take some Indian gooseberries, cut them in 2-3 pieces and soak in an earthen vessel with a lid overnight. In the morning, mash the gooseberries in the water, strain, add sugar and drink this water. Do this for at least seven days. This helps in cooling your body from inside.
- Take about five tablespoons of Fuller’s earth and add rosewater to make a paste. Apply this paste on prickly heat. Wash with cold water when it dries off.
- Oatmeal bath is one of the very effective home remedies for prickly heat. Add some oatmeal powder in to your bath water and soak yourself in the bathtub for about an hour on weekends.
- Crush some leaves of Indian plum (jamun) and add baking soda to it. Apply this to your prickly heat for instant relief.
- Take some neem oil and add camphor extract to this. Massage the body parts with sweat rashes with this oil. Let it be there for about half an hour. Take bath with cool water.
- Apply watermelon pulp on the prickly heat to heal them.
- Mix cornflour, flour or gramflour with water to make a diluted paste. Apply this to your body where you have prickly heat. Let it dry for about an hour. Have shower with cool water.
- Apply aloe vera gel on prickly heat to get relief from itching as well as to heal them.