Heat Rash: What Is Miliaria Crystallina?
Heat rash is also known as miliaria or "prickly heat". It is a type of skin disease that mostly affects people living in hot or humid areas. It forms as a result of blockage of the sweat glands. This restricts sweat, and it is trapped inside the skin tissues where it causes inflammation.
This condition is commonly related to excess sweating. All people can be affected but it is mostly found in children. The reason is that children and infants do not have well-developed sweat glands.
What are the symptoms of heat rash?
Heat rash is a condition that is always accompanied by some symptoms wherein most of them are seen on the skin. They affect areas such as the face, back, chest, neck, armpits, and thighs. Such symptoms may include:
- Itchy and irritating papules (red or pink bumps)
- Tiny blisters on the skin
- Bumps that can sometimes burst
- Little or no sweat around the affected areas
- Skin burning sensations
Types of Miliaria
There are four main types of miliaria according to the level of sweat gland blockage:
- Miliaria crystallina
- Miliaria profunda
- Miliaria rubra
- Miliaria pustulosa
It is the mildest type of heat rash. This type affects the sweat ducts in the top layer of the skin. It happens when the sweat ducts in this skin layer are blocked. Miliaria crystallina is also called miliaria crystalline or sudamina.
Symptoms of Miliaria Crystallina
The following are some of its symptoms:
- Tiny blisters on the skin
- Non-inflammatory fluid-filled vesicles
- Affects the trunk, face, or scalp
What causes miliaria crystallina?
Just like other types of miliaria, the main cause of the condition is excess sweating. When the sweat ducts close to the skin inside the stratum corneum are blocked, miliaria crystalline starts to develop. Other things that can cause the condition is staying in tropical areas or sunburn. Miliaria crystallina can also be brought about by fever.
How can you prevent miliaria crystallina?
- Avoid strenuous activities that can lead to too much sweating.
- Take regular showers, especially with cold water to cool the skin.
- Use air conditioners if possible to maintain your skin cool.
- Wear clothes that will allow fresh air to circulate in your body.
Treatment for Miliaria Crystallina
A treatment for miliaria crystallina does not exist because this condition is usually asymptomatic and will fade on its own. However, there are some things you can do to improve your skin condition. They include:
- Regulating heat and humidity to avoid excessive sweating.
- Application of topical treatments such as calamine lotion, topical antibiotics, and corticosteroids.
- Use of oral antibiotics in severe infections.
The Bottom Line
Miliaria is a simple condition of heat rash that appears and goes away after a short period of time. In case you have miliaria, you should not be worried. However, if the symptoms persist, it is important to visit your doctor to check for other underlying infections you might be experiencing.