There are a number of prickly heat treatment options available (also
known as miliaria
or heat rash).
Since prickly heat involves the body's ability to regulate heat, the
first approach is always to move the patient in a cooler environment
with lower levels of humidity. In addition to moving the patient, there
are a number of home remedies and prescription treatment
options to try such as the use of a cool water compress to soothe anything inflamed skin area. A Doctor can offer mild topical steroids that can provide some symptom relief. See below for out best 28 ideas for getting rid of prickly heat fast."
The following podcast from the Centers for Disease Control provides an excellent overview of heat related diseases and conditions such as Prickly Heat and Heat Rash.
Video: Signs of Heat Stress Such as Prickly Heat
Causes of Prickly Heat Rash
To understand prickly heat treatment, you need to understand what causes prickly heat rash in the first place. It gives you a place to start when deciding what you want to do to take care of your rash.
The causes of prickly heat rash include the following:
- Heat, humidity and perspiration
- Plugged sweat ducts, or hair follicles, usually with staph
found on everybody’s skin
When you are suffering from plugged hair follicles or sweat ducts, tiny, clear and water filled bumps form. If you burst those, they deliver a painful sting, because of the salt that’s in your sweat. Sweat also causes skin rashes, because it is an irritant.
Your rash may look like small bumps with pointed heads, clustered around the base of the hair follicles. It may be pale pink or red. If it gets worse, before it gets better, you may wind up with hives, welts, larger red bumps and an itch that won’t stop. Typically, prickly heat rash appears just about anywhere, including the face, neck groin, back, elbow folds, abdomen, buttocks and under breasts. Depending on where it is located, you may wish to try various prickly heat treatments.
Cases of prickly heat need to be differentiated from conditions that produce similar symptoms such as:
- insect bites
- bacterial infections such as folliculitis
- cutaneous fungal infections
Types of Prickly Heat
To know what kind of prickly heat treatment to use, you need to know
what layer of skin is affected. There are four categories of prickly
heat rash, and those categories are:
- Miliaria crystalline: no rash, just tiny blisters, may be minor symptoms
- Miliaria rubra: most common, where sweat leaks into deeper layers of the skin. Itching, prickling sensation, no sweating in those areas. Heat exhaustion possible.
- Miliaria profunda: severe form, causes severe burning sensation. Blockage is buried deep in sweat gland, leaking into the deep layers of skin. Risk of heat exhaustion very high.
- Miliaria pustulosa: pustules from bacterial infection. Risk of heat exhaustion extremely high.
To know if you may be susceptible to prickly heat rash, it helps to
know who it affects most often, such as:
- Military troops
- Obese/overweight people
- Bedridden patients
- Those with decreased sweating
- Those with congenital absence of sweating
- People who workout in hot environments
- Kids under the age of 4-years-old
Prickly heat rash does go away on its own. If it doesn’t, call the
doctor, who will do a visual examination in combination with questions
about heat exposure.
If you have serious heat rash problems, the doctor may take a skin culture, skin biopsy or examine skin scrapings under a microscope. They may also test for eczema, fungal infections, allergy reactions and bacterial infections.
28 Ideas for Prickly Heat Treatment Remedies
Video: Our Favorite Home Remedies for Prickly Heat
Video with Our Favorite Home Remedies for Prickly Heat Treatment
There are many approaches that can bring relief during prickly heat
treatment. The goal is to keep the skin dry and cool. Powders
and antiperspirants are the first line of defense in addition to
staying out of the heat and humidity. The heat rash itself
can be treated with corticosteroid creams, although just moving to a
cool air conditioned environment is often enough.
Here's a list of common prickly heat treatment options:
- Stay hydrated, drink lots of water.
- Baby powder to help dry the skin or a powder made specifically for prickly heat.
- Lower the ambient temperature in your surroundings.
- Wash your rash several times a day. Only use soap for sensitive skin.
- Indulge in cool baths or showers.
- Place clean cotton cloth under skin folds to catch sweat.
- Don’t wear synthetic clothing. Stick with cotton.
- Use frozen peas or other vegetable packs or ice gel packs. Don’t leave them longer than 10 minutes on the skin or you may get ice burn. Repeat when necessary. As an alternative place ice cubes in a cloth. Place cloth on prickly heat area for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat every 4 to 6 hours to get rid of the prickly heat rash in 2 to 3 days. Instead of ice you can use cold water.
- For moderate cases, hydrocortisone cream works well.
- For moderate to severe prickly heat rash, the doctor may prescribe Triamcinolone acetonide, a synthetic corticosteroid.
- For a bacterial infection, your may need antibiotics based on the type of infection you have.
- Antihistamines (Claritin or Benadryl) for the itch.
- Antiperspirants to dry the skin’s surface.
- Calamine lotion.
- Stri-Dex Acne medicated sensitive skin pads with salicylic acid.
- Menthol based creams.
- Camphor based creams.
- Topical creams with steroids.
- Aloe vera gel.
- Honey paste.
- Lavender essential oil.
- Cool Epsom salt for heat rash baths.
- Bathe in an oatmeal bath 2x daily until you get rid of prickly heat. Place 1 up of fine oatmeal powder in a cool bathe. Stir water until it gets to be milky colored. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Pat skin dry after bath.
- Create a paste using sandalwood powder and rose water (equal amounts). Apply paste to skin and leave in place until it dries. Rinse when dry. Use 2x daily for 1 week. Sandalwood can also be mixed with coriander powder and coriander powder plus rose water to make a paste. Apply to skin and let dry. Wash off with cold water and pat dry skin. Use 2x daily for 1 week. Sandalwood powder can also be used after taking a shower on affected areas (sprinkle on as you would a talcum powder.)
- Use baking soda (one teaspoon) added to 1 cup cold water. Soak washcloth in solution and wring excess water. Put washcloth on prickly heat area for 5 to 10 minutes. Use 4x to 5x daily for 1 week.
- Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of rose water with 5 tablespoons of Fuller's earth to create a paste. Apply paste to skin area. When dry, wash off with cool water. Use 1x per day for 1 week.
- Grind fresh neem leaves until you have a paste. Apply paste to skin and allow to dry. Rinse with cold water. Use 1x a day for a week. As an alternative, simmer neem leaves in 2 cups water for 20 minutes. Strain and allow to cool. Soak cloth in water and place on skin area for 5 to 10 minutes. Use 4x to 5x a day for 1 week.
In addition to these prickly heat treatment remedies consider providing the skin with a natural boost using a product like Skin Dr.
by: Skin Care & Health
by: Nancy Ray, PhD