Summer’s heat and sun can bring about a few unexpected problems, the most common one being prickly heat or heat rash. Heat rash affects babies as well as adults; in fact, many infants suffer from heat rashes even in cold, winter months. If you are looking for the best treatment for heat rash, you have come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss remedies to help you get rid of heat rash quickly as well as symptoms, what causes it and ways to prevent it.
What is a heat rash?
Prickly heat or heat rash has a scientific term doctors use to describe it-miliaria. This summer rash, as stated above, affects both infants and adults. It is caused by excessive sweating along with blocked skin pores and inflamed sweat glands. Because of the blockage, the sweat does not reach the skin’s surface but remains trapped within. This causes irritation on the surface of the skin which erupts in the form of papules, blisters, and pimples. The rash causes a lot of irritation, burning, itchiness and pain.
Prickly heat is common after sunburn and especially on hot and humid days. However, as already stated, some infants and young children are also known to suffer from prickly heat during winters. This is mainly due to being swaddled too tightly in blankets or sweaters. The main characteristic symptoms of prickly heat are:
- Blister-like bumps inside the red area
- Itchiness and stinging
Prickly heat is present mainly on the face, neck, shoulders, arms and chest.
How to treat heat rash in adults and babies?
Conventional treatment for heat rash in adults and young children is aimed at relieving the discomfort. Baths, cooling powders, heat rash cream and staying inside climate controlled environment are some home remedies for heat rash.
Keep the child dressed in comfortable, loose cotton clothing. If needed, let the baby stay in its diaper, unless the rash is present in the groin area. Often, diaper rashes are mistaken for heat rashes and vice a versa. Use a mild topical cream on the rash as recommended by your pediatrician. Call your doctor if the rash persists or if the recommended product isn’t effective in resolving it.
Diet and nutritional supplements
When you are suffering from a heat rash, avoid greasy, fried and sugary foods which tend to increase internal heat. This could aggravate heat rash. Make sure you increase your fluid intake. In case of baby heat rash, mothers may continue nursing the child frequently.
You can also make a homemade spray by mixing half a cup of Aloe Vera gel with some vitamin C based cream. Apply this all over the heat rash on face, neck etc. Vitamin C speeds up healing and Aloe gel soothes the skin.
Alternative remedies for heat rash
Some alternative heat rash remedies can be used for treating prickly heat in adults:
- Apply aloe vera gel all over the rash. This takes away the stinging sensation.
- You can also use calendula lotion or gel on the rash. This cools the skin and reduces redness, itching and irritation.
Homeopathy for heat rash
Apis Mellifica 30X or 9C is helpful if the rash is swollen and itchy. Administer this dose to adult/child with prickly heat 3 to 4 times a day for 2 days. Sulphur is another powerful natural remedy for treating many kinds of skin issues including heat rashes. It is particularly recommended for patients with fever, hot skin, and red and hard patches. Sulphur 30X or 9C twice a day for 3 days should do the trick.
How long will the rash last?
Heat rash on hands or face should ideally disappear on its own within a week. Make sure you keep the skin cool and sweat free. Take frequent tepid baths and apply the heat rash cream or powder as recommended.
- Take an oatmeal bath. Simply grind a cup of oatmeal and add the ground powder to warm tub water. Soak in the water for 20 minutes. Oatmeal has skin soothing properties that reduce stinging, pain and burning.
- Avoid using any harsh cosmetics, creams or oily products when suffering from a heat rash. These tend to aggravate the rash which could take longer to heal.
- Dress up in cool, comfortable and natural fibers.
- In cold weather, dress the child in layers instead of swaddling tightly in tight clothes or blankets. In summers, avoid overdressing.
- Stay in air conditioned environment especially in hot, humid weather.
- Avoid activities that cause sweating in humid environment.
A heat rash does not last long but it can be annoying and painful at times. The above brief guide will help you overcome the symptoms quickly and also prevent one next summer.