Prickly Heat: Therapeutic Management
Prickly heat (Miliaria Rubra) is a skin disorder which produces an
irritating skin rash as the result of obstructed sweat-glands. When
the narrow ducts carrying sweat to the skin surface get clogged, the
trapped sweat causes inflammation, which produces irritation
(prickling) and itching. Prickly heat usually consists of a rash of
very tiny blisters but also can appear as large, reddened areas of
The prickly heat rash is non-inflammatory and affects people of all ages,
though it is most commonly suffered by infants. For those who are genetically
predisposed to prickly heat, recurrence is common
Prickly heat appears when the sweat-gland ducts become obstructed.
Hot, humid weather.
Over activity during hot weather.
Wearing polyester or lycra while exercising in warm weather.
Allergies to deodorants or antiperspirants.
Small, fluid-filled blisters on the skin.
Red, irritating or itchy rash.
Occurs in a tropical or subtropical hot, wet environment
More common in fair-skinned people
Irritation to areas where perspiration is heavy
Triggers include being overweight, using soap too often and overproduction
Red, bumpy rash on areas of skin which are covered by clothing.
Prickly heat is curable. A combination of preventative measures and
immediate treatment ensure quick recovery.
This consists of cold compresses, cool showers and cooling skin lotion.
Steroid creams and ointments containing hydrocortisone should be applied 3-times
daily to rash to relieve itching and irritation.
Cool showers or
baths will help to keep itching under control and cleanse
Bathing in oatmeal mixes or with oatmeal soaps will stop itching and speed
Expose the rash to as much fresh air as possible. Never cover with
bandages or tight clothing.
Drawing ointments will aid in cleaning out areas which have blistered.
Anti-itch medications, such as Benadryl, are helpful for those suffering
chronic prickly heat.
Aloe Vera lotions will stop excessive itching.
relaxation will be recommended.To
discourage further perspiration, air needs to flow freely over the skin's
surface-wear cool, loose, cotton clothing.Use fans,
drink plenty of
water, go swimming and bathe affected areas.Cold poultices, showers,
compresses and skin lotions are also recommended.Regular exercise might
be rescheduled if carried out in a hot, moist climate.
Vitamins and Minerals
Wholefoods for general and skin health, rich in all the
especially the fruit and vegetables rich in
vitamin A (beta-carotene), and in cis-linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, will be recommended.Drink
plenty of cool fluids and herbal teas, such as green tea.A freshly
squeezed juice combination to help restore lost fluids and salts consists of
equal volumes of apple and carrot, with a little cucumber.Specific supplements include zinc, beta-carotene,
(especially calcium pantothenate) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and
vitamins C and
Bathe the affected area with cold chamomile and / or tea tree infusions.For
a quick, relief-bringing compress, wring out a flannel that has been soaked in
basin of rice-cold water containing 4tsp (20ml) distilled witch hazel, and apply
directly to the prickly heat rash.Another option would be , to mix equal
quantities of juice extracts from neem, tulsi, pudina, coriander and turmeric
bottled and refrigerated. This lotion will stay fresh for 7 days. Apply on
affected areas after returning from outdoor activities.
Add 2-3 drops of chamomile or calendula essence to 8 fl oz (200ml) cold
water and spray the rash liberally.Mix 3-4 drops of myrrh or lavender with 2 tsp
(10ml) soya oil and spread on gently to relieve the inflammation; use neroli
essence similarly, or add to bathwater, to reliever the knotted inner tension
that can accompany a persistent itch.
Prickly heat is usually a transient condition and does not tend to last, but
for frequent outbreaks, stress-beating therapies such as
and relaxation and
meditation may be
helpful. Cranial osteopathy and/or acupuncture may also be used as means to harmonise the various body systems and
boost the immune cells.
Keep as cool as possible
Wear loose, cotton garments
Avoid hot baths and showers
Avoid highly spiced food, hot drinks and meat extract (it is very salty).
Focus on a healthy diet daily to keep the immune system functioning and
bacteria at bay.
Drink plenty of cool fluids
Reduce the use of soap
Avoid exposure to heavy sunlight.
Follow self-help advice as soon as prickly heat appears - salt and water loss
can trigger heatstroke.
Dated 22 May 2014