Prickly heat, also known as miliaria rubra, is an itchy rash of small, raised red spots that cause a stinging or prickling sensation on the skin. Prickly heat can develop anywhere on the body, but it usually appears on your face, neck, back, chest or thighs a few days after exposure to hot temperatures.
Babies suffer from prickly heat on their buttocks and children suffer from this especially in hot and humid weather. It occurs because their sweat glands are not fully developed, and also the fact that they are constantly in nappies and diapers.
Heat rash begins with excessive perspiration, usually in a hot, humid environment. The perspiration makes it easier for dead skin cells and bacteria on the skin to block the sweat glands, forming a barrier and trapping sweat beneath the skin, where it builds up, causing the characteristic bumps. As the bumps burst and sweat is released, there may be a prickly or stinging sensation that gives this condition its name.
How to Prevent Prickly Heat
So what are the natural alternatives that you can use to reduce this painful summer skin problem? Here are some pointers –
1. Air Yourself
Firstly, the golden rule is to keep the body cool and well aired. If you can, uncover the skin where you are experiencing prickly heat and expose it to cool air. Doing so will help bring relief to the skin. For babies, avoid making them wear diapers and air the affected areas.
2. Say No to Synthetic
Summer is the time when you should wear light coloured and loose clothes so that there is air circulation and your body stays cool. Wear cotton clothing and avoid synthetic tight clothes at all cost.
3. Drink Up Those Summer Coolers
Because the hot temperature can drain energy out of you, it is important to consistently hydrate yourself to stay cool. Drink cool natural drinks like chaach, lemon water andcoconut water, and avoid alcohol and aerated drinks. You can also add flavoured water to your diet, where you can make the most of seasonal fruits and herbs.
4. Eat Healthy Foods
Beat the heat and stay cool by eating healthy. Include lots of fresh raw foods like saladsand fruits and avoid heavy greasy dishes, fried foods and sweets.