It is important to understand different heat rash symptoms in order to treat them effectively.
Let us first understand what a heat rash is. Heat rash is also called prickly heat. Medically defined as a ‘maculopapular rash accompanied by an acute inflammation of the blocked sweat ducts’, typical heat rash symptoms include:
- Excessively damp skin(sweating) more so in hot and humid weather
- Red spots/clusters/blisters on face, arms, neck, back, elbow creases, below the breasts or in the groin region
- Severe itching in the regions affected
Types of heat rash
Heat rashes are of three types depending on the level or degree to which the sweat ducts are blocked. The heat rash symptoms and signs vary according to the type of heat rash
- Miliaria Crystallina- This is a relatively mild form of heat rash. The heat rash symptoms of this type include formation of clear fluid filled blisters. These symptoms usually fade once the hot and humid climate disappears but can reappear chronically. The blisters are not painful or itchy.
- Miliaria Rubra- This form of heat rash affects the ducts in the deeper layers of the skin. Infants are particularly prone to such heat rash symptoms. Signs include red bumps, itching and little or no sweating in affected areas.
- Miliaria Profunda- This is the rarer form of heat rash and many adults are prone to this chronic infection. The heat rash symptoms of this type include rash that resembles flesh colored goose bumps (only it is permanent in nature) along with other signs of heat exhaustion such as nausea, dizziness and fatigue.
Home remedies for heat rash symptoms
If you observe these heat rash symptoms and signs, it is important to follow these effective home remedies:
- Heat and sweat typically gives rise to heat rash. Hence, preventive measures need to be taken: wearing loose clothing and keeping the covered regions dry using medicated prickly-heat powders are some mentionable ones.
- The herb Chickweed is an effective medicine that can be made into a compress and applied to the skin at the first appearance of heat rash symptoms. Ointments containing chickweed are readily available in the market. Alternatively, you can boil some chickweed in a cup of olive oil for 30 minutes, cool and strain the mixture and apply it on affected regions several times a day.
- Aromatherapy essential oils like sandalwood, lavender and calendula oils may also be applied to treat signs of heat rash symptoms.
- There are several homeopathic home remedies for heat rashes: Merc Sol is an effective preventive remedy while Apis taken every two hours for 10 days can help cure existing heat rash symptoms and signs. The exact dosage and remedy must be taken under the guidance of an experienced homeopathic practitioner.
- Bach Flower home remedies are also proven to be highly effective in treating heat rash. Impatiens is one such remedy that can be taken internally or applied as a topical cream.
- For extremely itchy heat rashes, one can bathe with water to which vinegar and salt have been added. This helps relieve itching and inflammation.
- For preventing secondary infections from a heat rash, a paste made from baking soda and water can be applied on the affected region.
These are a few home remedies to cure the heat rash symptoms. However, it is important to note that prompt medical attention may be required especially if the chronic heat rashes lead to repeated dermatitis or secondary bacterial infections. Severe heat rash symptoms must not be ignored and topical or systemic medications along with antibiotics may sometimes be the only solution.