వేసవిలో వచ్చే 'చెమటకాయల'ను తగ్గించే సహజసిద్ధమైన చిట్కాలు || How to stop prickly heat and heat rash. IF HEAT RASH IS MAKING LIFE A LIVING HELL, READ ON FOR THE EXPERTS' ADVICE ON WHAT CAUSES PRICKLY HEAT, HOW TO GET RID OF IT AND HOW TO KEEP YOUR COOL
I don't do well in hot weather. Recently in an impromptu outdoor meeting in the glorious sunshine, I returned to the office with tan lines (read: burn lines) that normally I'd struggle to achieve with a week in Ibiza. But while I scolded myself for not using SPF that morning, I secretly revelled in the fact that there was no sign of prickly heat on top of my lobster-shaded skin. The realisation helped ease the pain of the heat radiating from my arms (thank goodness for air con).
Prickly heat, heat rash or 'sweat rash' as it might be known (not to be confused with polymorphic light eruption or PLE - see below) has plagued me, on and off, for as long as I can remember. Being sensitive, I'm always on the lookout for the beginnings of rashes or reactions, but there's none I dread more than the early signs of heat rash - those little red spots that start to appear on my wrists and the folds of my forearms, which I know within hours will be right up to my shoulders.
As a friend and fellow sufferer once said to me, "Once you look down and see it - you know that's it." It's spoiled many a holiday, or indeed many a sunny day that should be spent frolicking outdoors and soaking up the vitamin D (responsibly, of course; SPF always included). Itchy, sore and unsightly, it can make summer a living hell. But what causes it and is there any way to stop those spots from creeping up on us? I asked the experts to find out once and for all...
WHAT IS PRICKLY HEAT?
"Prickly heat, heat rash or sweat rash are all names used for a condition called miliaria," explains Dr Stefanie Williams, Dermatologist and Medical Director of Eudelo. "It occurs when sweat ducts get obstructed, sweat leaks into the skin and the skin gets inflamed around that tiny leakage. A prickly rash appears with red, very itchy little bumps (papules)."
The sweat ducts are blocked either by excessive sweating, or by an overgrowth of bacteria which normally lives on our skin, Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting tells me. "[This] leads to a sticky byproduct blocking up the delicate sweat ducts, trapping sweat under the skin. It's exacerbated if sweat is trapped and can't escape."
MORE GLOSS: The best sun creams for sensitive skin
WHO SUFFERS FROM IT?
"It is very common (up to 30% of people may develop this under certain conditions) and is most common in hot, humid climates," says Dr Williams. "Younger children are particularly at risk. Typical body areas are skin folds (or on the back if a patient is bed-bound). The risk of getting it can also be increased if you use quite heavy, occluding skincare.
“However, sometimes when people speak about a sweat rash, they might possibly mean a fungal infection in skin-on-skin areas such as the groins or under the breasts. The medical term for this is Intertrigo and it’s a common fungal yeast infection that occurs between the folds of your skin as a result of humidity, friction and a lack of ventilation. It usually shows up as a red, itchy rash on in skin folds.”
You don’t have to have a history of prickly heat to get it, either - it can happen at any time if you’re in the right (or should I say wrong) conditions.
It's worth noting, though, that many people think they're suffering with heat rash when in fact they are reacting to sun cream - it took me years to realise the extra-bad itchy rashes I was experiencing on holidays were from the bottles of sun cream I'd been slathering on all week and the fragrances, preservatives and chemical sun creams in them. So do check that this isn't the case first (see my guide to SPF for sensitive skin here).
WHAT IS PLE?
Rashes are characteristically hard to diagnose, and though less likely than heat rash it could be that you’re suffering with a sun allergy or polymorphic light eruption (PLE).
Dr Williams explains: “They can look quite similar, but while heat rash occurs mostly in occluded skin areas prone to sweating, PLE occurs on skin that has been exposed to the sun recently (but traditionally might be covered with clothing, so isn’t ‘used’ to the sun).”
So what causes it? “PLE is a common form of a reaction to UV light that often occurs in young women in spring and summer (or at the start of a sunny holiday). The name ‘polymorphic’ refers to the fact that the rash can appear in many different shapes or forms, although in one person it usually looks the same every time it appears. The arms, the chest and lower legs/feet may be affected. The face is usually spared (as it tends to be more ‘hardened’ to sun light). The commonest form of PLE presents as crops of itchy, 2–5 mm pinkish ‘bumps’. In some people tiny blisters may occur. PLE persists for some days (or longer if the affected skin is exposed to more sunlight) before spontaneously resolving without scarring.”
Tags: వేసవిలో వచ్చే 'చెమటకాయల'ను తగ్గించే సహజసిద్ధమైన చిట్కాలు || How to stop prickly heat and heat rash, prickly heat, how to get rid of prickly heat, heat rash, prickly heat rash, how to get rid of heat rash, prickly heat treatment, prickly heat home remedies, home remedies for prickly heat, heat rash treatment, home remedies for prickly heat in infants, prickly heat cure, home remedies for prickly heat in children, prickly heat rashes, home remedies prickly heat babies, prickly heat remedies, heat rash symptoms, cause