Sunday, November 25, 2007


Prickly heat or heat rash is an irritating eruption of the skin due to obstruction of the sweat glands over certain areas of the body. In this condition many tin pin-head-size swellings occur in the skin, accompanied by severe itching. The areas most involved are the chest, back, waistline, armpits, and groins. Infants and overweight persons often suffer from heat rash.

Prickly heat occurs most often in hot, humid conditions, but it can also be developed in cool weather if you are overdressed. The condition usually appears a few days to a few months after exposure to a hot, humid environment. It's most common in infants. Newborns are particularly vulnerable to prickly heat because their sweat ducts are not mature, which makes it easier for the beads of moisture to be trapped.

When a baby gets hot, sweat must evaporate off the skin in order to cool her body down. If you interfere with this process by covering the skin with lots of clothing, plastic pants or even heavy moisturizers, the sweat that needs to get out becomes trapped beneath the surfaceof the skin, resulting in an itchy rash.

Prickly heat usually starts around the neck. If it is bad, it can spread down onto the chest and back and up around the ears and face, but it seldom produces any discomfort for a baby.

Prickly heat is due the sweat glands becoming blocked when the weather is hot and humid. Dead skin cells and bacteria may block the sweat glands, leading to sweat being retained and building up on the skin leading to inflammation, which causes the rash.


Try to avoid scratching, for this may introduce germs into the deeper layers of the skin.
For prickly heat treatment, wear cool, light clothing and abstain from alcoholic drinks.
Oatmeal baths twice a day may also relieve the itch.
Drink plenty of water during hot weather.
Keep the skin clean and avoid the use of harsh soaps.
Gently wash skin with soft gauze and lukewarm water and pat on a mixture of one part alcohol to three parts boiled water after cooled.
Make a compress by dipping a washcloth in a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda per cup of cool water. Apply to the rash for five to ten minutes. Do this four or five times a day.
Avoid overdressing. Allow Skin to breathe. Avoid heavy moisturizers.
Dress your baby sensibly, preferably in layers that can be peeled away as conditions change and you'lllikely avoid the problem altogether.
Remove some clothing, take her into an air-conditioned room or sit her in a tub of tepid water.
Wear loose, lightweight clothing. Dust the affected area with cornstarch.
Avoid sweating by staying in a cool environment.
Apply paste of gram flour and then a cold-water bath after sometime. It will give relief.
Prepare a mixture by adding 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder, 1-teaspoon coriander seeds (dhania) powder, 1 teaspoon nagarmusta (Cyperus scariosus) powder and rose/cold water to make paste. Mix them well and apply on the body. Leave it on for an hour and then take cold-water bath. This is an effective home remedy for prickly heat treatment.
The paste made of powdered bark of pipal tree and finely powdered brick is applied on the affected parts all over the body.
The powder of sandalwood dusted all over the body is effective in giving relief in prickly heat.
The paste made of the seeds of jambul and applied over the body is effective in treating prickly heat.
Persons suffering from prickly heat should avoid heavy garments and try to expose the affected area to air.
Dissolve Fuller's earth (Multani mitti) in water to make a thin paste. It should be smeared over the affected parts. When the paste dries, wash with cold water. This is an effective home remedy for prickly heat treatment.
Apply green henna ground in water on the affected skin.
Grind leaves of neem in water and apply on the affected skin.
Take a small piece of sandalwood and rub it into a paste on a stone with rose water. Mix a pinch of powdered alum to the paste and apply to the affected skin twice or thrice a week depending upon the condition of prickly heat.
Leave babies nappy off as often as possible for prickly heat cure.
Wear loose cotton clothing to encourage the evaporation of sweat and prevent further skin irritation.
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