Although Brits look forward to the summer months after the never-ending winters, there are some downsides to the hot temperatures.
As we make the most of the warm weather, high pollen levels and heat rashes (prickly heat) are just two of the most common issues people face.
There’s nothing worse than when you want to enjoy the sunshine with friends and family, whether you’ve planned a picnic in the park or an afternoon in a beer garden - and yet you feel slightly irritated by the heat with itchy skin and in some cases, blisters.
What is prickly heat and what are the symptoms?
Dr Nakedar explains: “Heat rash, also known as prickly heat or miliaria, is neither an allergy nor an intolerance. It is a skin condition caused by blocked sweat ducts, which prevents sweat from being released onto the skin's surface. When sweat gets trapped beneath the skin, it can cause inflammation, itching, and the appearance of small red bumps or blisters.”
Just some of the most common symptoms include small red bumps or blisters on the surface of the skin, itching, redness and inflammation and mild to moderate pain in the affected areas.
11 ways to manage heat rash symptoms this summer
To manage and reduce heat rash symptoms, consider incorporating the following actionable tips, including medication suggestions, home remedies, and behavioural changes:
Stay cool: Spend time in air-conditioned or well-ventilated environments to help reduce sweating and keep your skin cool.
Wear loose, breathable clothing: Choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothes made of natural fabrics, like cotton or linen, that allow air to circulate and wick away moisture.
Shower frequently: Bathe or shower regularly, especially after sweating, using cool water and a gentle soap to remove sweat and debris from the skin. Make sure to pat the skin dry rather than rubbing it to avoid further irritation.
Avoid heavy creams or ointments: Use light, water-based moisturizers or lotions instead of heavy creams or ointments that may clog sweat ducts.
Apply cool compresses: Use a cool, damp cloth or ice pack wrapped in a towel to soothe the affected area and reduce inflammation.
Over-the-counter remedies: Consider using over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to help reduce itching and inflammation. Apply as directed and follow the instructions on the product packaging.
Aloe vera gel: A natural remedy for soothing the skin, aloe vera gel can be applied topically to the affected area to help alleviate itching and redness.
Oatmeal bath: An oatmeal bath can help soothe irritated skin. Add colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oatmeal) to a cool or lukewarm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes to help relieve itching and inflammation.
Antihistamines: Over-the-counter oral antihistamines, like diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can help relieve itching in some cases. However, use caution, as these medications can cause drowsiness.
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help regulate body temperature and maintain overall health, which may contribute to reduced heat rash symptoms.
Limit physical activity: During hot and humid weather, try to reduce strenuous physical activities that cause excessive sweating, which can worsen heat rash symptoms.
If heat rash symptoms persist, worsen, or become infected, consult a healthcare professional for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.