Heat rash, also called prickly heat or miliaria is a common problem during summer months. Heat rash develops due to the obstruction of sweat ducts. The rash is not usually serious problem and goes away within 2-3 days after you avoid hot environment, but it can be itchy and uncomfortable. Here we discuss about remedies for heat rash during summer months.
Who is at Risk?
Heat rash is more common in babies, but anyone who is exposed to hot and humid climate can develop heat rash. People who might have risk of developing heat rash are those who are over weight, those who exercise in hot and humid environment and military troops.
What are the risk factors?
- High temperature
- High humidity
- Tight garments
- Saunas and steam rooms
- Excessive sweating
Heat rash usually resolves on its own after avoiding the hot and humid environment. If the rash or itching persists, soothing lotions like calamine lotion, boric acid or menthol may be applied. Topical application of anhydrous lanolin may give more effective result. Oral antihistamines like Benadryl or Claritin may help stop itching. For more severe cases mild over the counter topical corticosteroids may be applied. Oral or topical Antibiotics and antiseptics may be used to prevent bacterial infections.
How to prevent Heat rash?
- Avoid exercising in hot and humid environment
- Try not to sweat more
- Don’t use polyesters and nylon cloths, wear loose cotton clothing
- Cool water or frozen compresses will soothe the affected area. Remember not to leave the packs for more then 10-15 minutes.
- Better ventilation and temperature maintenance with fans and air conditioning is recommended.
- Drink plenty of water to maintain hydration and body temperature.
- Take a cool shower or bath
When to seek medical care?
Seek medical care immediately if you or your child has the following:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Pus within the affected area
- Increase redness, pain or swelling around the affected area.