Prickly heat is one of the common problems in children. It is an itchy rash that leads to a stinging or prickling sensation on the skin. It develops on the body and is usually found on the face, neck, chest, back, and thighs following exposure to high temperatures. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for prickly heat.
According to EMedicine Health, prickly heat is due to accumulation of sweat ducts and hair follicles on the skin. As per the publication, the plugging occlude sweat glands and trap them, resulting to small water bumps. It is added that sweat contributes to prickly heat, since it is a strong skin irritant, which may also lead to the appearance skin rashes. People who are prone to having the condition include babies or infants, children below four years old, athletes or people who exercise in hot environments, obese or overweight people, bedridden and non-ambulatory patients, those with congenital absence or reduced sweating, and military troops.
Signs and Symptoms
Prickly heat usually presents symptoms like small, itchy red bumps on the skin. As per Web MD, the rash may be accompanied by prickling sensation, hence the name, as well as stinging and burning sensation. According to the publication, medical advice is essential if the heat rash does not resolve within a few days and if the person develop an infection in an area where one he had the rash. As per NHS UK, the rash is made up of small bumps or spots, which are surrounded by redness. Also, the spots appear like small blisters that can cause itching, aside from mild swelling and stinging sensation.
Prickly heat is usually managed with steroid creams to relieve the heating; however, some remedies can also be done even at home to as supplemental treatment to the condition.
One remedy for prickly heat is cold application. Cold counters heat, so it may reverse the effects of the increased temperature exposure on the skin. According to NHS UK, keeping the skin cool via a cool bath or shower will help cool, soothe, and protect the skin from further sweating. An option is also use a fan or air-conditioner to promote a cool environment and stay in there for few hours a day. Cold compress may also be used for 20 minutes; using it for more than the aforementioned time duration may be hazardous to the skin and the nerves beneath it.
Another remedy for prickly heat is baking soda. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, baking soda acts as a mild exfoliating agent on the skin, which unclogs pores by dead skin and dirt removal.As per the publication, the exfoliation relieves the inflammation and itching in the process. As per the publication, a teaspoon of baking soda is added to a cup of cold water. Next, a clean washcloth is soaked in the solution and the excess water is wringed out. Then, the washcloth is put over the affected area for five to ten minutes. The remedy is done four to five times a day for one week.
Aloe vera also helps relieve prickly heat. According to Style Craze, it has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which can deal with different skin rashes like the ones associated with prickly heat. It also reduces the inflammation and redness while softening and hydrating the irritated skin. To apply, as per the publication, the person squeezes the gel to the bowl and applies it onto the affected area once or twice daily.
Overall, prickly heat may be unsightly, but it does not cause high degree of harm to the person.