Prickly heat rash or miliaria causes sweat glands to get blocked leading to itchy rash on the skin. Prickly heat rash on the back is especially common in hot and humid months when people spend a lot of time on the beach or outdoors in the sun. Excess sweat also tends to trickle down the back and often, this area is not cleaned properly while bathing. As a result: the bacteria react with the sweat clogged pores leading to tiny, itchy bumps. This usually mild skin condition subsides a few days later on its own; though in some cases, it could get worse. People often scratch the rash leading to bacterial skin infections which are harder to treat. In this guide, we will study how to specifically treat prickly heat rash on the back.
Symptoms of prickly heat rash on the back
Different types of prickly heat rash on the back leads to different symptoms:
- Small superficial bumps on the skin are characteristic and they often rupture leading to a watery discharge. Such rash is seen in young babies though adults could also develop it. Milder forms of heat rashes are called Miliaria Crystalline.
- A slightly more severe heat rash affects deeper parts of the skin. Typically, adults suffer from such Miliaria Rubra in hot and humid climates. Babies could also develop these in the early weeks following their birth. This rash is characterized by redness, itching, pustules and prickly bumps.
- The most severe form of heat rash on the back and other body parts is Miliaria Profunda. This is characterized by skin colored lesions which affect deeper parts of the skin. It is seen in adults who have the tendency to suffer from recurring Miliaria Rubra. There is no sweat in this form of skin rash but people may have other signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion including dizziness, increased pulse rate etc.
Treating prickly heat rash on the back quickly
A patient suffering from moderate to severe prickly heat rash on the back naturally wants it gone quickly. As stated above, no treatment may be needed at all in most cases apart from keeping the body cool. However, if the heat rash gets more severe or is accompanied by pus formation, then a trip to the doctor’s may be indicated. Here are some proven methods of treating prickly heat rash on the back quickly at home:
- Soak in warm or tepid bath water to which some Epsom salts or baking soda has been added..You can also alternatively crush some colloidal oatmeal and add it to the tub bath. Soak in this water for at least 20 minutes. This can help reduce the pricking sensation.
- Apply some calamine lotion to the rash for instant relief from itching and burning.
- Cut open an Aloe Vera leaf and directly apply it to the rash. This will cool the skin down and reduce burning and inflammation.
- If the skin is swollen-apply a cold compress to it. This can give tremendous relief on hot humid days when you sweat profusely.
- Make a paste of baking soda with some water. Apply this paste using a clean and soft cloth and gently pat it on the rash. Baking soda can help relieve burning pain and cooling the skin instantly.
- Dust some prickly heat powder on the back to absorb excess sweat.
Preventing prickly heat rash on the back
Use these tips to prevent prickly heat rash on the back:
- If you have a tendency of developing heat rashes, try and keep your body temperature down, especially in summers. Do this by wearing light cool, cotton clothes. Avoid going out in the sun in between peak hours of 10 am to 4 pm. Stay in air conditioned rooms when the weather is very hot and humid.
- Do not use tanning beds as these can also lead to prickly heat rashes on the back.
- Make sure you wash and change sweaty clothes frequently as sweat laden clothing can further aggravate or infect the skin rash. Failure to do so could lead to secondary skin infections that may require steroidal ointments or antibiotics for treating.
- Drink plenty of water to keep cool. You can also drink Green tea, sugar-free beverages like freshly made juices etc. Eat seasonal summer fruits like watermelons, cantaloupes etc to increase water content in the body.
- Avoid swaddling babies in tight warm clothes in winters as babies can even develop prickly heat rashes in the cold months due to this reason.
These tips and precautions can help treat prickly heat rash on the back fast.