Prickly heat, also known as heat rash or sweat rash, is a common skin problem that occurs during hot and humid weather. It's characterised by tiny red bumps on the skin that are usually itchy and uncomfortable. Prickly heat is more common in babies, young children, and people who live in hot and humid climates. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at prickly heat and explore some ways to prevent and treat it.
Causes of Prickly Heat
Prickly heat occurs when the sweat ducts on the skin become clogged, trapping sweat under the skin. This leads to inflammation, and the small red bumps that are characteristic of prickly heat. The following factors can contribute to prickly heat:
- Hot and Humid Weather: Prickly heat is more likely to occur in hot and humid weather because it makes the body produce more sweat.
- Synthetic Clothing: Synthetic clothing, like polyester or nylon, can trap heat and sweat against the skin, making it more difficult for the sweat to evaporate.
- Overexertion: Activities that make you sweat excessively can contribute to prickly heat. For example, exercising in hot weather or doing heavy physical work can lead to prickly heat.
- Certain Medications: Some medications, such as antibiotics and diuretics, can cause prickly heat as a side effect.
Can I prevent Prickly Heat?
Yes! Here are some tips to help prevent prickly heat:
- Wear Loose Clothing: Choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton or linen. This will allow your skin to breathe and prevent sweat from getting trapped against your skin.
- Stay Cool: Stay in cool, air-conditioned spaces whenever possible.
- Keep Skin Dry.
- Hydrate: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Avoid Overexertion: Avoid activities that make you sweat excessively.
Can I use sunscreen to help prevent Prickly Heat?
Yes! When it comes to sunscreen, it's important to choose one that won't aggravate prickly heat.
Look for a sunscreen that is labelled "non-comedogenic" and "oil-free" to avoid clogging the sweat ducts and worsening the condition.
Additionally, it's recommended to choose a sunscreen with a high SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30, and to apply it generously and frequently, especially if you are sweating or swimming.
Some people with prickly heat find that mineral-based sunscreens, which contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, are less likely to cause irritation compared to chemical sunscreens. These ingredients create a physical barrier on the skin that reflects the sun's rays, rather than being absorbed into the skin like chemical sunscreens.
Ultimately, it's important to find a sunscreen that works well for your skin and doesn't exacerbate your prickly heat symptoms. If you're unsure which sunscreen to use, it's a good idea to consult with a dermatologist.
Below are just some of the brands that we sell which are mineral based or non-comedogenic" and "oil-free". Always check the ingredients before purchase, if you are unsure, check with a dermatologist.
Are there treatments if I get Prickly Heat?
Yes! If you do get prickly heat, here are some ways to treat it:
- Cool Compress: Apply a cool compress to the affected area to reduce inflammation and itching.
- Calamine Lotion: Apply calamine lotion to the affected area to reduce itching and inflammation.
- Hydrocortisone Cream: Apply a hydrocortisone cream to the affected area to reduce inflammation and itching.