The peculiar thing about heat rashes is that they appear at the most inappropriate places and are excruciatingly irritating. What makes them even more unbearable is the fact that heat rashes, being a constant companion of extreme summers, make the combination of the two a bit too much to tolerate. This article will discuss exactly what heat rashes are and how to get rid of them.
What is Heat Rash?
A heat rash is caused when the sweat ducts get obstructed or clogged due to excessive heat and humidity. The clogged pores contain sweat, and dead skin cells which act as a safe haven for the growth of the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, thereby causing a condition known as Miliaria or prickly heat. This condition causes the sweat to seep into the skin rather than exude outwards onto the skin's surface, because of its passage being blocked. Heat rashes occur in areas where the skin is more susceptible to exposure to heat and friction, which further aggravates the pores and causes them to block up. Heat gets trapped in areas such as the armpits, the fold of the elbows and knees, the thighs, and yes...the groin. This condition also affects areas of the skin which get excessively exposed to heat, sweat and humidity. For instance the nape of the neck, the shoulder line, the entire torso, and back.
Tips and Remedies for Heat Rash
Here is the tricky part, if you get attacked by prickly heat, the chances of its staying on for a while are quite high. The only way to prevent that from happening is to try to stay away from the heat and sunlight until your all cured. Stay indoors and get yourself cooled off with an ice pack and air conditioning. If not, take a cold shower 3-4 times a day so as to cool yourself off. An ice pack is a safe alternative. Remember not to touch, scratch or rub your rash with bare hands, as that usually aggravates the condition further and may break the skin to cause injury and scars.
Prickly Heat Powder
You must make it a point to get a recommended brand of anti prickly heat talc, which will help fight the skin condition. Ensure you buy a talc which has a cooling effect on the skin. If the rash is spreading rapidly and you do not have talc at hand, you may use a few tablespoons of baking soda instead on your skin. You will need to apply the talc on your neck after every body wash. Whenever you have a shower, remember to pat your self dry or allow the affected area to air dry for some time. This will provide a lot of respite from the agony of the rashes.
Wear Cotton Garments
Cotton is porous and allows the skin to breathe freely, by preventing the heat from getting trapped within the fabric. Cotton helps get rid of heat rash at a faster rate because it is a great absorbent of sweat and allows the sweat to dry off quickly. On the contrary, synthetic fabrics do not let air penetrate through it, which is why the sweat gets trapped underneath the surface of the fabric and gets absorbed by the skin. Which in summer often causes heat rashes, acne and sometimes skin infections. Therefore it's better to wear cotton garments during summers, especially if you are prone to prickly heat.
There are certain herbal remedies which you can use for reducing the rashes to a very large extent. One of the herbs is Aloe Vera gel, which has soothing, cooling as well as antibacterial and antifungal properties. Apply the gel from a freshly sliced aloe vera leaf in its pure form on the neck directly. In case you do not have access to fresh aloe vera, you may use commercially available aloe vera gel instead. The second herbal remedy is tea tree oil, which too has cooling and antibacterial properties. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil and dilute it with some water, after which you may apply it on the affected area. This oil isn't exactly oily, so you need not worry about feeling sticky or hot because of it. Tea tree oil must not be used directly as it will cause severe stinging, especially on skin which is already irritated. If you do not prefer tea tree oil, you may instead go in for the conventional and often tried and tested peppermint oil which shows positive results as well.
The above mentioned tips are some of the only remedies that actually work in reducing heat rashes to a large extent. You will need to be a bit patient as these take a few days to fade away.