Prickly Heat is a red rash with small, thin-walled blisters which contain a clear fluid. Prickly Heat is also known as Miliaria rubra or heat rash.
Prickly Heat occurs when sweat glands become blocked. This causes a prickling sensation, itchiness and a red colouring of the skin. Prickly Heat can be common in babies, particularly if they become too hot. Prickly Heat occurs mostly in the summer months, especially in humid weather.
See your Doctor if the rash lasts more than two to three days and if your baby has a fever. It is important to avoid infection of the blisters. Try to stay in a cool, dry environment and avoid doing physical activity in the heat. Anti-perspirants work by blocking sweat ducts, not by stopping sweat activity. Absorption or removal of the sweat from the surface of the skin is of no benefit. Try to wear light cotton clothing which allows the skin to breathe.
Ask your Pharmacist for advice. - If a baby has Prickly Heat, wash your baby in a mildly warm bath and dress in light clothing only. In summer keep the baby as cool as possible. - There is a special solution e.g., Q V Bath Oil or Alpha Keri Oil available to be added to the bath. This should soothe the rash and help to stop reoccurrence. - Ask your Pharmacist for a cream to apply to the Prickly Heat. Topical corticosteroids e.g., Derm-Aid or Cortic may reduce inflammation and itching. Do not use if the skin is broken. Other non-steroidal creams available to give relief include Paraderm and Soov. - Avoid using soap as this may irritate the rash. - Dress your baby in light cotton clothing and avoid synthetic materials. - There is a special light powder available to be dusted on the baby after a bath.
- Unrefined, cold-pressed flax seed oil used daily as a dressing on salads and other meals (which do not require heating) may improve the skin and reduce inflammation. - Try to consume fish 3 to 4 times a week. Fish contains essential fatty acids which may reduce inflammation and improve the texture of the skin. - Avoid saturated fats (found in beef, pork and fried foods) and trans-fatty acids (found in margarine, shortening and commercially prepared foods). - Try to reduce foods which have high acidity levels. These include meats, dairy products (except yoghurts), citrus fruits and pre-packaged foods. - Try to increase foods such as fresh vegetables, fibre and unsweetened yoghurt (with acidophilus). - Freshly made juices diluted with water can help reduce inflammation. Carrot, celery and apple are excellent for the skin.
VITAMINS/MINERALS/HERBSVitamins and minerals may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate. - Essential fatty acids supplementation may reduce inflammation, itching and improve the condition of the skin. - Vitamin C may reduce itching and inflammation. - Gels such as aloe vera gel, chickweed and calendula may help itching and inflammation. Try not to use heavy creams as these block the skin.