Miliaria or prickly heat is a distressing skin condition affecting millions of people in the hot and humid seasons. It gives rise to an itchy, reddish and inflamed rash that occurs due to blocked sweat glands.Prickly heat is also called sweat rash and people affected usually get it in the hot and summer months. However; some cases of miliaria may be seen in winters especially in babies. In this guide, we will study the uses of Calamine skin lotion and its effectiveness in treating prickly heat rash quickly.
Prickly Heat : Who gets it and why?
Miliaria or prickly heat rashes affect people of all ages, but are even more common in young children, particularly babies. Athletes, cyclists, and other sports persons also complain about sweat rashes from time to time. Additionally, people living in cold countries experience it in the summer months after spending a day on the beach or traveling to tropical and humid regions.
Babies and toddlers might also experience sweat rashes particularly if they lie on their backs for long periods of time. Many parents are known to wrap their children up tightly in blankets and sweaters in winters, causing them to sweat excessively. If, for some reason, the sweat glands of the skin happen to be blocked or clogged, prickly heat rashes occur. Patients having undergone a serious operation or those who are bed ridden after a stroke etc are also susceptible to heat rashes.
Symptoms of prickly heat rashes
Based on the kind of rashes occurring from miliaria, one might experience various symptoms:
- The heat rash is typically tiny, red and in the form of bumps or spots that are separated from each other by few millimeters. They usually occur on areas where there is friction including neck, arms, elbows, thighs, under-the-breasts, groin etc.
- Scratching the rash could aggravate it. The tiny clear spots of miliaria crystalline might turn into pus filled blisters which require antibiotics for healing.
- Prickly heat rash in babies also tends to make them cranky or irritable. They often try to scratch the rashes causing secondary skin infections. Fever may be present in some cases.
Is calamine lotion safe for prickly heat rash in babies?
Calamine lotion is a healing lotion useful for treating a variety of skin issues. It has many protective ingrediets that can be used for treating insect bites, allergic reactions (occurring due to poison Ivy or poison oak) as well as blistering, skin burns, and sun related skin damage etc.
Warning– Do not use Calamine lotion if you (or the baby) is allergic to Zinc oxide or other ingredients that are often combined with it. Talk to a pharmacist or doctor if you are pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant before using calamine lotion. Do not mix calamine lotion with other herbal or conventional tinctures or preparations.
How to use calamine lotion for prickly heat rash
You can use calamine lotion to heal and soothe sun damaged skin as soon as you experience a prickly sensation arising from the heat and sweating:
- Start by shaking the bottle of the lotion well.
- Apply the required quantity of Calamine lotion all over the heat rash and once it dries after a few hours, reapply as often as needed.
- Remember that calamine lotion tends to stain clothes temporarily. So do not use on large areas of the body.
- While you may safely use calamine lotion for prickly heat in children for a few weeks, if you do not notice any improvement in the rash, make sure you visit the doctor. It is even more important that you do not procrastinate in case of heat rash in babies.
As stated before, Calamine lotion is safe to apply in most cases of prickly heat rashes in babies. However in rare cases, allergic reactions might occur, including difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of face etc. If these do occur, see the child’s doctor immediately.