With saggy diapers and snug-fitting jumpers, babies are prime candidates for heat rash, while adults often encounter this skin irritation during an intense workout. Heat rash (also known as prickly heat) is your body’s response to heated sweat that becomes trapped on your skin.
Usually, the condition strikes in clothed parts of the body, such as the neck, stomach, upper chest, armpits, back, and groin. If your skin is unable to cool down due to a barrier (like tight-fitting clothes), the resulting perspiration can cause sweat ducts to swell and become plugged. To soothe a case of heat rash, consider home remedies to provide relief.
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Causes and Symptoms
Do you live in a tropical climate? Is your weather hot and humid during the summertime? If so, then you’re probably already quite familiar with heat rash. Up to 1/3 of adults residing in a tropical region experience this condition that affects your sweat glands. Heat rash occurs when eccrine sweat glands – the ones found all over your body with a direct connection to the surface of your skin – become plugged. Instead of sweat evaporating into the air, it stays beneath the skin, resulting in inflammation and a rash.
Typical causes of heat rash include :
- Underdeveloped sweat ducts – seen in newborn patients
- Physical activity and hard work
- Medications – like some high blood pressure and acne drugs
- Clothing materials – such as nylon and polyester
- Heavy or electric blankets during the wintertime
- Long stays in a hospital bed
Heat rash symptoms usually appear in adults within the folds of their skin and in the places where clothing causes friction. Infants encounter the rash on their head, neck, shoulders, chest, back, and in some cases – their armpits and groin. Depending on the type of heat rash you have (Miliaria crystalline, Miliaria rubra, or Miliaria profunda), you will develop clear blisters or bumps, red bumps, intense itching, prickly sensations, and/or goose bump-like responses.
Heat Rash Home Remedies
Cooling down your body is one of the main approaches towards fighting a heat rash. Fortunately, the majority of heat rash fades away without any medical attention, while severe cases are especially in need of a helping hand from the following home remedies:
Whether you have an aloe plant growing on the kitchen windowsill or aloe lotion in the cabinet, this plant possesses a gel that relieves the itch of heat rash, as well as boosts the healing process. Apply aloe two to three times per day, making sure to wash affected areas in between applications.
b) Powder Yourself:
After taking a cold bath or shower, dust yourself with cornstarch, baking soda, or unscented baby powder. This will help eliminate some of the extra moisture that can lead to heat rash.
Prevent further discomfort by cooling your skin with ice cubes contained in a sealed plastic bag. Before applying to the skin, make sure to wrap it in a dishcloth. Place the ice on affected areas for five to ten minutes at a time; and repeat every four to six hours.
d) Stay Away from Creams and Ointments:
Using creams and ointments to treat your heat rash will only cause pores to become blocked.
e) Lightweight Clothing:
Keep moisture off of your skin by dressing in loose-fitting, lightweight clothing during times of hot weather.
f) Calamine Lotion:
Calming itchy and irritated skin is just as easy as reaching for the calamine lotion. You may also enjoy the same effect by using a cool compress.
g) Put Away the Towel:
After taking a bath, instead of using a towel, allow your skin to air-dry.
h) Cold Shower or Bath:
Hop into a cold shower or bath to reduce the prickly sensation that accompanies a bout of heat rash. Enhance your bath by adding baking soda or fine-ground oatmeal powder to treat itchiness. A couple of tablespoons will work wonders when added to lukewarm bathwater. Make sure to stir the powder until it becomes dissolved. Soak in the tub and enjoy heat rash relief.
i) Turn the Air Conditioner On:
Situate yourself directly in front of your air conditioner for a relaxing remedy sure to cool off your body.