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Today in Health & Wellness

Prickly Heat

Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult

Common name: Heat rash; bungang araw (Fil); bagas ling-et (Ilk).

Prickly heat is a skin condition that appears as red or pink rash with tiny blisters. It often occurs in skin folds particularly in the neck, armpit, or groin or areas of tight clothing where air cannot circulate. It can develop when the sweat ducts become blocked and swell and often leads to discomfort and itching. It is also caused by excessive sweating. This condition is most common in babies, but it may affect adults in hot, humid climates.

  • Red bumps or rashes on the skin
  • Mild swelling of the affected part
  • Itchy or prickly sensation similar to mild sunburn
Risk Factors
  • Wearing of tight clothing
  • Excessive sweating
  • Overweight and obesity
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • Calamine lotion
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antihistamine tablets may be helpful in relieving itchy sensation but consult doctor first before taking it.
Treatment and Management

Most prickly heat rashes resolve on its own once the skin cools. The following steps can help relieve symptoms.

  • Let the skin air-dry instead of using towels
  • Allow the skin to be exposed to circulating air
  • Wear loose clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton
  • Take frequent baths or shower
  • Avoid using heavy and oil based ointments or lotions because they can irritate the skin and may clog sweat ducts
  • Apply water based skin protectants and emollients to prevent itching, minor pain, and inflammation
  • Apply prickly heat powder to reduce itching
  • Avoid scratching the rashes to get rid of infections
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using antihistamines or topical remedies.
Home Remedies

To reduce itching, dissolve and mix 1 tsp of baking powder to 1 glass of water. Using a clean cloth, dip the cloth in the mixture and gently tap it on the rashes for 10-15 minutes. Repeat the procedure at least 2-3 times a day.

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