How to treat heat rash this summer

How to treat heat rash this summer

While the summer is a time for lots of fun out in the sun (we're still crossing our fingers that we'll get some good weather) the heat can have some adverse effects.

You may think that sunburn - which you can avoid by applying SPF suncream regularly throughout the day - is the worst thing you have to deal with. However, the heat itself can actually cause a skin complaint that can be equally, if not more uncomfortable.

Heat rash, also known as prickly heat and miliaria, is caused if you are sweating more than usual, which can occur in hot weather. This causes your sweat glands to get blocked, resulting in an itchy rash formed of small raised red spots. These are accompanied by a stinging or prickly sensation.

It is quite common for children and babies to suffer from prickly heat in the summer as their sweat glands aren't completely developed. This can leave them in a bit or discomfort and feeling rather miserable.

You'll find that heat rash tends to affect areas that are commonly covered by clothes, which can make wearing them even more uncomfortable. It usually develops on the upper chest, stomach, neck, back, armpits or groin.

While there aren't any cures for prickly heat as it tends to clear up on its own in a couple of days, there are things you can do that will soothe the skin and make you feel more comfortable - which is especially helpful if your children are the unlucky sufferers.

Stay cool 

Getting overheated when you have a heat rash can cause it to be even more uncomfortable as it will set off the stinging. It is important then that you stay as cool as possible through the day and at night.

Use fans - freestanding while you're at home and portable ones when out and about - to help you cool down. It is also a good idea to swap your duvet for a light sheet or blanket so you don't overheat while you're asleep.

Bath or shower

Heat rash is a common problem during warm weather

You need to keep your skin as clean as possible as this will help your sweat glands unblock and so reduce the rash. It will also remove sweat from the skin, which could cause the rash to be more painful.

Having a cool bath or shower every day while you have prickly heat will help with this. Make sure the temperature is not too hot, as this will cause your rash to hurt even more.

It is a good idea to use a soothing and cooling soap as well, as this will help to get rid of dirt from the skin and so allow it to breathe. Our Tea Tree, Herbal Mint and Walnut and Hemp soaps are great for troubled skin and are gentle enough to use when you have a heat rash.

After you've washed, lightly pat your skin dry with a clean towel and allow it to air dry completely before getting dressed.

Avoid putting on any lotions until your rash has totally gone away, although you should still apply sun cream.  

Drink plenty of water

You need to stay hydrated in hot weather anyway, but it is important to ensure you drink lots of water when you are suffering from prickly heat. This allows your body to flush out toxins and sweat better, which can help your sweat glands unblock.

Drink at least two litres of cool water a day and avoid drinks that will dehydrate you, such as tea, coffee and fizzy pop.

Hopefully by following these tips, your heat rash should go away in a few days. If it persists for a week or longer, it's a good idea to head to your GP to have them check it out.