Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Prickly Heat - Some Causes, Remedies and Prevention

I never expected something like prickly heat could cause chaos but it does!! This is very common in children because there sweat glands are not developed but obviously they affect adults too.The air-conditioning at work kept conking off for various reasons and I ended up with Miliaria or prickly heat. And, it was very annoying. The Miliaria cases can lead to heat exhaustion but mostly it feels like a bunch of pins are pricking you all.the.damn.time. Who knew that salt(there is salt in sweat, in case you didn't know) could be such a powerful irritant?

Later on, I did a lot of research on prickly heat just for your sake. Here are some of the things that I tried or read about which made sense/were effective:

  • Clotrimazole Dusting Powder: Clotrimazole is anti-fungal as well as anti-bacterial and the powder will absorb the sweat. This might calm your skin if the rash is only beginning but if you have a severe case of prickly heat, you will lose patience before the powder starts working. You can use this as a prevention measure.

  • Calamine Lotion- Calamine soothes the skin. You get various calamine lotions in the market and you can use the one that you like.This will also help if you sweat a lot as calamine will keep your skin cool.

  • Anti-Histamines- These are the drugs you take when you have an allergy. Mostly, they will make you sleepy but they also suppress the itching and swelling.But,seriously, go to a doctor.

  • Take frequent baths- This will keep you clean and those pins pricking your skin will stop bothering you, for some time.After that? Take another bath!

  • Try using a wet cloth compress over the affected area.

  • Ice- This will give you instant relief as well as reduce the swelling. Regular use of ice compress will also reduce the rashes.

  • Sarna Lotion- This was prescribed by the doctor. This lotion is composed of menthol, camphor and phenol which calm the skin. This will only take the itching away but that counts.

  • Hydrocortisone Creams- This reduces the inflammation and reduces the pain. It is available in low concentrations without a prescription. Consult a doctor before you decide to treat yourself with higher concentrations as there is a risk involved.
  • Prickly Heat Powder(s)- You have a lot of choice in this section, but all of them are useful in preventing prickly heat or maybe in providing relief in a milder case.

The list is by no means exhaustive. Fell free to share something that worked for you.