Heat rash, prickly heat, or miliaria is a condition of the skin that causes rash mostly because of excess sweating. It is a condition that occurs if the sweat ducts cannot efficiently excrete sweat from the body. As a result, sweat accumulates within the skin layers causing a rash that is accompanied by various symptoms.
Heat rash appears slowly with very few symptoms but spreads to many parts of the body particularly when sweat glands are present. Sweat accumulates in the skin layers when the sweat glands are blocked. There are a number of factors that can lead to the blockage of the sweat glands. These may include:
- Bacterial plugging of the sweat glands
- Accumulation of dead skin cells
- Excessive sweating
- Underdeveloped sweat glands in children
Heat rash can affect any person, although it mostly occurs in children since they have little sweat glands. People of all ages can have the condition depending on their exposure to the causes. Other causes of heat rash may include staying in scorching weather conditions, staying close to a fire, and some medications that affect the fluid balance in the body.
Types of Heat Rash
To help you understand how you can treat miliaria, the following are some of the different types:
- Miliaria rubra - is a type of rash formed when sweat is blocked and accumulated in the inner parts of the skin layers. As a result, you will experience some formation of blisters and bumpy spots. It is mostly caused by too much sweating, especially if you are staying in a very hot area. You can treat this condition by moving to a cooler environment.
- Miliaria crystalline - it forms when sweat ducts near the skin surface are blocked. The rashes appear as tiny but clear spots on the skin. Preventing too much sweating and staying cool can help to treat the condition.
- Miliaria profunda - this is a rare type of heat rash experienced mostly by people who have had miliaria rubra before. It forms bigger lumps on the skin. It may require a person to move to cooler areas and avoid wearing heavy clothes, especially when it's warm.
Treatment Measures for Heat Rash
Heat rash is a condition that in most cases goes away on its own after a short time. Symptoms caused by prickly heat are known to last only for a few days. Here are some of the things that can be done to relieve or reduce the symptoms caused by heat rash:
- Wear clothes that are made from loose cotton and with breathable fabric.
- Avoid staying in very hot and humid areas.
- Try taking cold baths or showers as often as possible to cool your body.
- Avoid sweating. This can be achieved by using air conditioners.
- Use antiseptic and antibacterial soaps to keep your skin safe from bacteria.
- Steroids help in reducing inflammation. They help relieve the inflammation and itching symptoms.
- Application of calamine lotion.
Wearing heavy clothes blocks the evaporation of sweat. It instead accumulates in the skin layers causing heat rash. To prevent and treat the symptoms arising from this condition, wear clothes that can allow fresh air to flow over the skin.
The Bottom Line
Prickly heat is known to disappear after a short period. If you suspect an underlying infection of the skin causing the rashes, you should go and see a doctor immediately.
- Types of heat rash
- Treatment for heat rash