Be itch and scratch- free this summer!
Summer should only be about ice creams, cool drinks, and long lazy days. In India however, summer months can be extremely dry and hot in some places and sultry in others and heat wave conditions are common. And all the excessive sweating caused by the heat not only drains your energy but also causes a highly irritating problem of the skin — commonly known as prickly heat.
What is prickly heat?
Prickly heat or heat rashes are small red bumps on the skin that can cause severe itching and general discomfort. Though it is not harmful and is not considered a skin disease, it still calls for attention as they can be pretty annoying in regular life.
Prickly heat is likely to be found in the highest concentration in covered areas where there is a lot of friction, such as the neck, chest, and body folds.
What causes prickly heat?
Prickly heat, essentially results from excessive sweating and accumulation of sweat on the pores of the skin in different parts of the body. If the sweat is not rubbed off immediately it tends to clog the pores of the skin, which eventually takes the form of prickly heat or heat rashes. Human sweat, due to its high salt content is an extremely potent skin irritant. It mostly affects the back and other covered areas of the body where the sweat does not dry easily.
How to prevent prickly heat
Following these simple tips can help you prevent prickly heat:
- Do not let perspiration accumulate on your skin for long.
- Wear cool natural fabrics, avoid polyesters and nylon.
- On hot and humid days, avoid wearing jewellery, especially artificial jewellery, as that can cause the skin to break out.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.
- Use a hat or umbrella while going out.
- Apply some sun-screen before stepping out in the sun.
- Drink water.
- Even when you are indoors, try to maintain a comfortable temperature with fans or air-conditioning.
Home remedies for prickly heat:
- Caladryl – is a soothing anti septic lotion for skin eruptions and itching.
- Sandalwood paste has cooling and anti-inflammatory qualities. The pleasant smell makes it a refreshing emollient to heal skin eruptions.
- Aloe Vera is a wonder cure for all skin ailments from dryness to rash, prickly heat and even burns. Cleopatra is known to have used it to keep her skin looking young.
- Lavender oil is a fragrant oil used in aromatherapy. It has antiseptic and anti-fungal qualities and reduces skin irritations, swelling and redness.
- Talcum powders, especially those made to combat prickly heat, can be very effective in soothing the skin and preventing further eruptions.
Photograph via sxc.hu
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