Oops, it’s suddenly hot. Now it’s time to show skin if it weren’t for the pustules. Heat rashes are annoyances that we would like to get rid of. We say how!
Prickly heat (heat rash) is mainly associated with babies and small children, but adults are also affected. The good news first: heat rash is absolutely harmless to health. But they can bother us, cause a nasty itch and burn on the skin surface and cause inflammation. The rashes particularly like to spread to parts of the body where there are many sweat glands. These include above all armpits, décolleté, back, bottom, thighs and arms. In places where we definitely do not need them, and if they are already there, we cannot always cover them completely with clothing.
Babies and small children are particularly prone to heat rash, as the skin pores are still relatively small, which can quickly cause a blockage of the sweat glands. The rashes are then primarily caused by wearing too warm and thick clothing or by wearing a diaper.
What is heat rash?
Prickly heat is small blisters/pustules on the skin that develop when the ducts of sweat glands become blocked. Frequently, in summer, when there is heat and high humidity, therefore they are often called heat rash or sweat pimples. They often occur in skin folds or areas where there are particularly many sweat glands, such as in the armpits, around the décolleté or between the shoulders.
What types of prickly heat are there?
There are four types of prickly heat, each with different symptoms.
- Miliaria cristallina: This is the mildest form. On the epidermis, the outer cell layer of the skin/upper skin (also known as stratum corneum), small, colorless pimples develop due to the closure of the sweat glands. The pimples are free of bacteria, sometimes they are filled with very, very little liquid. The prickly heat can burst open after a certain time.
- Miliaria rubra: A constriction takes place below the granule cell layer (stratum granulosom), deeper lying sweat glands. In comparison to the upper heat rash species, this is the third layer of the epidermis, which is affected by heat rash in this case. The blisters are reddened and the affected skin areas itch. Bacteria or an irritant sweat effect are responsible as triggers of Miliaria rubra.
- Miliaria pustulosa: A stronger bacterial infestation, also known as bacterial superinfection, is the cause of this form of heat rash. The rashes usually become inflamed and begin to develop into purulent pustules.
- Miliaria profunda: This type of heat rash is rather rare. In Miliaria profunda, the deep-lying excretory ducts are clogged. Firm, often painful lumps are the result.
What symptoms does heat rash bring about?
The skin rash is mainly manifested by
- Formation of bubbles/ small spots
The vesicles are usually as large as a millet grain and are located on the surface of the skin, or more precisely: where one has many sweat glands and therefore perspires frequently. Usually the heat rash is filled with a clear to milky liquid. Depending on how clogged the sweat glands are, the rashes can be very painful and cause a burning or itching sensation on the surface of the skin.
What to do about prickly heat?
The small superficial heat rash appears quickly when the body is overheated and itch – but they also disappear again quickly when the body cools down.
Tip: If the white pimples persist longer, treatment with skin gel containing zinc or silica is often helpful. Alternatively, medicines from homeopathy can help.
If you are prone to heat rash, you can also prevent them: enzyme peelings gently cleanse even sensitive and impure skin and prevent clogged sebaceous glands.
In case of severe itching, especially small, red spots (Miliaria rubra), a doctor should be consulted. After an examination he can give you an anti-itching anti-allergy medication (antihistamines). to treat the heat spots. As a rule, a zinc-based cream is also often prescribed because it has an anti-inflammatory effect, supports wound healing and reduces itching.
Immediate measures for heat rash
- Get out of the heat and find a cooler place.
- Do not wear clothes that are too warm and tight. Airy clothes made of cotton and linen, on the other hand, are good materials in summer, where the body does not sweat too quickly, which also means that the sweat glands do not get clogged up as quickly and the production of heat spots is avoided as far as possible.
- Thick and warm bedding should also be avoided.
- Please do not scratch, no matter how much itching. Rather alleviate it by tapping on the affected skin area or cooling it.
- Abstain from caffeinated drinks, alcohol, hot spices and sumptuous meals that increase the production of sweat and promote annoying heat rash – drink sage tea.
- A special powder from the pharmacy also helps against the production of sweat, which can absorb sweat and can soothe the skin (for example with silver) and keep it dry, so that the spread of bacteria is prevented as far as possible and heat spots do not develop in the first place.
- Alternatively, there is a specially developed antiperspirant that is said to work wonders when sweating heavily. (Soummé Antitranspirant)
- Thermal water spray is good for the skin and is especially practical when travelling. With contents such as minerals, trace elements and silica, it soothes the skin, so that the itching of the heat rash has come to an end for the time being.
- Tip: Use sunscreen without preservatives and fragrances. The skin is not unnecessarily irritated, does not itch and heat rash has a hard time.
- Home remedies: Lukewarm to cool showers are now a dream for your body. Alternatively you can dab yourself with a damp washcloth.
It helps babies to change diapers more often to avoid a humid and warm climate. Even if they crawl more often without diapers, it prevents super heat rash.