Heat rash or prickly heat is a terrible skin condition affecting millions of people all over the world, especially in the hot and humid months. A prickly heat rash can come on rather suddenly- the cooling mechanism of the body simply breaks down causing the skin to erupt in pustules or blisters that are not only itchy but also ‘burn’ and irritate. If you are a believer of Aromatherapy, then you have probably heard of essential oils and how they are an excellent remedy for treating various skin conditions including prickly heat.
So let us find out what the best essential oils are to help you get relief from severe heat rashes.
Essential oils to treat heat rashes
First of all, identify if what you are suffering from is indeed heat rash as many skin conditions look rather similar to it. Here are typical symptoms:
- Tiny red bumps on the skin-the rash is itchy and can cause much discomfort.
- In women, the rash may be typically seen under the breasts, in armpits, on neck etc.
- In men too, the rash could arise on upper chest and neck, on elbows, in the creases of the groin, knees, folds of stomach etc.
- In babies, heat rashes can arise all over the body not just in the summer season but also in winters, especially upon being bundled or layered up in warm clothing.
Essential oils can help treat heat rashes effectively. These oils are obtained from different parts of the plants or trees including flowers, bark/stem, seeds, roots and even the fruits. Common essential oils that are used as remedies for various skin ailments are chamomile, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, red rose hips, citronella, tea tree etc.
The best essential oil remedies for heat rash treatment are:
- Eucalyptus Globulus
- Roman Chamomile Hydrosol
- German Chamomile
- Sandalwood oil
- Neem oil
Always buy these oils from trusted and reputed vendors-so you are assured of right extraction techniques that preserve their properties. You could buy these in smaller bottles so you can even take them on your travels. Essential oils come in very handy for treating all kinds of skin issues and can be used for summer heat-related disorders when you travel to the tropics.
How to use essential oils for treating heat rashes
Keeping the body cool is the number one remedy for heat rash treatment. So-do bathe frequently in cool water and as far as possible, avoid the sun.
- Add a few drops of lavender oil, chamomile oil and eucalyptus oil to your bath water. Soak in this tub bath for 20 minutes. (If you have only one of these oils, simply use that standalone.)
- Alternatively, mix baking soda with few drops of lavender essential oil. Apply the mixture all over the rash until it is completely covered. This essential oil remedy for heat rash can even be used on babies and infants. When treating baby for prickly heat using these essential oil remedies, make sure that its skin is kept completely dry, especially in the folds of skin.
- For babies under the age of 2 years, use only ¼ cup of baking soda to which 2-3 drops of lavender oil are added. For older kids (up to 7 years), you can use more soda and oil respectively. For adults, use about a cup of soda and 5-8 drops of lavender oil.
- If you are living in a region where fresh neem leaves are available, you can simply boil a handful of those leaves and add the extracts to the bath water. Neem has antibacterial properties and can prevent secondary skin infections arising from prickly heat rashes.
Consuming essential oils for treating prickly heat rashes
The FDA has only approved certain essential oils for consumption in order to treat and heal various disorders. Chamomile, peppermint and lavender oils are some examples of essential oils that are readily available in the form of tea bags and drops. Drinking the teas made from these herbs is especially known to help people suffering from various heat issues. They not only strengthen the body from inside out, they are especially recommended for cooling the body in hot and humid months. Talk to a herbalist/aromatherapist if consuming the drops is right for you.
Diet and other precautions to follow when suffering from heat rashes
- Consume plenty of watermelons, cucumbers, fresh fruit juices, lemonade etc
- Drink ginger tea. Ginger or ginger essential oil is a proven remedy to heal heat rashes.
- Consume good quality honey sourced from local vendors. This will help you develop immunity and also provide many anti-microbial properties to strengthen the body.
- Apply ice cubes on the prickly heat.
- Stay away from sun during daytime. Wear cool cotton clothes.
- Stay away from heavy oil based moisturizers and creams which can clog the pores.
We hope these precautions and essential oils for heat rash treatment help you get much needed relief from this irritating skin condition.