Prickly heat rash also called miliaria rubra is a common skin condition troubling many adults in the hot and humid months. It gives rise to tiny red bumps that appear on parts of the body including the neck, back, torso, groin, under the breasts etc due to clogged sweat glands. In some cases, high fever can also give rise to prickly heat rash in adults. In this guide, we will check out some of the common ways to treat heat rash in adults. We will also discuss in detail what to do if the heat rash gets infected. In particular, we will discuss the antibiotics for prickly heat rash in adults and how to take them.
Topical treatments for heat rash in adults
Before you rush to the doctor for heat rash treatment, it is best to try out some over the counter topical heat rash treatment methods. Here are some steps that can help relieve heat rash pain in adult sufferers:
- Move from hot to cool environment. Avoid the sun as it can aggravate the rash
- Take a cool bath. Soak in a tub filled with warm water to which some Epsom salts or colloidal oatmeal has been added
- After bathing, apply some cooling talcum powder over the rash.
- Dress in cool cotton and loose garments.
- Apply calamine lotion to soothe the rash.
- Alternatively, apply some Aloe Vera gel to the skin to prevent blisters and secondary skin infections.
- Anhydrous lanolin is also effective in opening up the blocked sweat glands.
- In extreme cases, topical steroids may be prescribed.
- Hydrocortisone cream (OTC 1%) is best for relieving itching and burning associated with heat rash in adults.
Oral and topical antibiotics for prickly heat rash in adults
In some rare cases, the heat rash can become bothersome enough to warrant systemic medicines. This usually occurs when one scratches the rash and the bacterial micro-organisms trapped beneath one’s nails transfer to the open sores. Topical antibiotics containing Mupirocin or Clindamycin are often used to treat such infections. Oral antibiotics for treating heat rashes in adults are Erythromycin, Tetracycline, and dicloxacillin. These are macrolide antibiotics which work by stopping the growth of bacteria.
Steps for taking the antibiotics for heat rash treatment
It is best to take the medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Some classes of drugs are effective when taken with a meal- this way they do not lead to side effects like nausea etc. If nausea does occur, take the medicines with some crackers, milk or a small meal. Most oral antibiotics used for treating skin infections come in pill form. They tend to be very bitter; hence one must swallow it entirely with a glass of water. The dosage and length of treatment will be based on the severity of your skin infection resulting from scratching the prickly heat rash.Dosage is also based on age, weight and height of the individual.
For getting rid of the heat rash fast, one must ensure maintaining the level of drug in the blood. This means that you must take the medicines as prescribed and preferably at the same time each day. If you forget or skip a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
In some cases, you might start to feel better and the rash might clear up after a few doses. However, it is important that you still complete the entire dose of antibiotics for heat rash even if you are asymptomatic. Failure to do so could bring the infection back.
If despite taking your medicines the rashes come back, do call your doctor. It is also important to follow some basic safety measures to avoid irritating the prickly heat rash infection. Your condition should generally improve within a week, but you must avoid irritating it through use of tight clothing etc. It is best to air dry your body instead of rubbing it down with a towel. Do avoid the use of certain heavy creams and lotions as they could further aggravate the infection. If the pus, redness, crusting, swelling or tenderness is still persisting after a few days of treatment, seek medical assistance.
These are some essential ways using which you can treat prickly heat rash in adults using oral and topical antibiotics.