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Heat rashes: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Summer is finally here, and so are sweat, heat, and rashes! Heat rashes which is also known as miliaria rubra is the most common and unpleasant gift of the summers. While on one hand there is the excitement of eating mangoes and ice creams, on the other hand, skin problems like Skin Rashes do nothing but leave us helpless and wondering when this season will get over.

Not only do these heat rashes prove to be an irritant but they also make the person uncomfortable and hesitant to wear any cloth that reveals this redness and rash on the skin.

What are heat rashes and What causes it?

The skin layer protects the body from foreign objects; it is more like a barrier which helps in preventing any sort of infection, bacteria or virus from entering the body. It also helps in controlling the body temperature by sweating. Sweat glands are covered by the skin duct, and rashes occur when any of these ducts become clogged or blocked and sweat fails to move out to the skin’s surface. When it fails to come out it gets trapped beneath the skin’s surface leading to inflammation or a skin rash.

Apart from this, there are many other reasons as well that can lead to heat rash:

1. Not only clogged ducts but over sweating can also lead to rashes, especially when it fails to evaporate. People staying in a humid and tropical climate are more likely to face such skin conditions.

2. Wearing tight clothes preventing evaporation of sweat

3. Using creams, moisturizers, and lotions during summer season leading to the blockage of ducts.

4. It can also happen during winters, especially when someone is down with fever and tries to wrap a number of sheets and clothing around the body.

5. In case bacteria enter the sweat glands, it can lead to inflammation that can soon turn into a heat rash.

6. Excessive bed rest due to prolonged illness can also lead to heat rash especially when a person uses a warm or electric blanket.

7. Sitting in front of the fire for a long period of time even in winters can induce excessive heat in your body leading to heat rash.

8. There are a few medicines as well that can lead to the production of excessive heat in the body leading to heat rash. The most common medication leading to the same is medicine for Parkinson’s disease.

9. Any medicine substituting the fluids in our body such as water pills, tranquilizers also have the tendency to develop the symptoms of body rash.

10. Intense physical workout leading to excessive sweating can also lead to such rashes.

Who are at risk?

  • Newborns are at the maximum risk of developing these prickly heat symptoms on the body, and because they can’t explain what they feel, they get more fussy and irritated.
  • Those living in tropical regions are more likely to develop the symptoms of heat rashes all over the body.
  • Those who overexert their body and sweat excessively also develop these rashes frequently and especially when they wear tight clothes leaving no space for the sweat to evaporate.

Risks involved

Usually, these heat rashes heal without creating many complications but if not taken care well on time, it can lead to infection causing inflammation and itchiness.

Symptoms of heat rashes

Sometimes a person doesn’t even get to know that the red spots appearing on his body are not regular pimples or spots but rashes which can turn into a complication if not treated well on time. Therefore, it is really important for everyone to know the symptoms of such heat rashes so that the right treatment can be taken at the right time.

  • If you see red bumps appearing on you or your child’s body then, be alert as it can be inception of heat rashes on your body.
  • If you feel itchy on the affected area and can feel a prickling sensation as well, then it may be a sign of rashes.
  • These red bumps appear not only on one part of the body but on several parts at the same time. Primarily, the neck, shoulders, and chest are the most affected parts of the body; however, it can also show up in the armpits, elbows and groin area.

Preventive Measures

As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”, it is always recommended to take the utmost precautions from the onset of the summer season to avoid sweating especially among children. Taking preventive measures is the key to avoid the problems that you may face due to these heat rashes:

  • During the summer season, try to avoid any such physical activity that can lead to excessive sweating. However, it becomes difficult to prevent children from going out; in that case, you must apply talcum powder to keep them dry.
  • When at home or office, try to stay under the air conditioner to avoid sweat.
  • Try wearing light colors during this season as dark colors are more likely to absorb heat leading to excessive sweating.
  • Also, try to use fabrics like cotton during the summer season. Such fabrics are breathable and allow sweat to evaporate in no time.
  • Avoid staying in excessively humid and hot places.
  • Keep exfoliating your skin to remove the layer of dead skin cells. Such dead skin cells can lead to clogged sweat glands. You can easily buy these exfoliators according to your skin type.
  • Take a cold shower frequently with soap to escape the rising temperatures. It helps to keep your body temperature normal for a longer period of time keeping heat rashes away.

Treatment to cure heat rashes

Prickly heat which is also another kind of rash, usually goes away without any intervention, however, itchiness and dryness may need to be treated:

1. Antibacterial products

One way to treat these heat rashes is to use topical antibacterial products, such as soaps to overcome the problem like itchiness and dryness.

2. Try to keep the skin cool

Those affected with prickly heat or skin rashes must keep the skin cool and dry. Try to stay in places having an air conditioner as much as you can, also take frequent showers with cold water and avoid doing any physical activities.

3. Anti-itching products

Try to use anti-itching products like menthol, calamine, and camphor. Any product with such a base will help you to get rid of itching. Also, try to avoid oil-based products as much as you can as they can lead to blockage of sweat glands and ducts.

4. Talcum powder

Talcum powders containing triclosan can help to prevent the situation from getting worse. Such powders help in treating the infection and also preventing bacteria from dispersing into bed linens and sheets.

5. Menthol Products

Using menthol products can help to provide comfort to the person leading him to sleep peacefully.

Understanding the categories of Heat Rash can also help identifying the right method of prevention and cure.

We can categorize these heat rashes into three types:

  • Miliaria profunda, the rarest of all, are not common red bumps but large flesh colored bumps. It usually occurs in the deepest layers of the skin. If not treated on time it can turn into a chronic disease.
  • Miliaria rubra: Also known as prickly heat, these are small red bumps on the body caused by inflammation. These are highly uncomfortable as it originates from one of the deepest layers of the skin.
  • Miliaria crystallina: These are the most common form of heat rashes, usually white in color and are more common amongst children.

Make sure not to overlook any of the symptoms and also take necessary steps to cure the same as soon as you can. If not treated on time these rashes can make sweat glands permanently disabled from creating sweat even when exposed to heat. Also, if you notice rashes turning into blisters, make sure not to do self-medication and consult your doctor as soon as possible. Such blisters need aggressive treatment under the supervision of trained doctors.

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Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.

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