The unbearable temperatures in summer trouble you a lot. Your nightmare during this hottest season might be prickly heat. Looking for a way to treat it? You may know ice cubes and cucumber help you fight it. But, there are more things in your kitchen that can relieve you from the prickling sensation. Stay here and know more about prickly heat and the available home remedies.
What Causes Prickly Heat
Heat rash or prickly heat usually happens during hot and humid climate, when you sweat a lot. The blocked skin pores fail to expel the excess perspiration, leading to rashes.1 The symptoms of heat rashes are tiny red spots, rashes, small blisters, swelling, or itching. They develop in folds of skin or parts of the body covered by clothes. Thus, neck, groin, chest, under the breasts, and armpits are the areas often affected by it.2 Here’s how you can treat them naturally.
Besides being your nutritious breakfast, oatmeal has a lot more benefits. It is excellent for delicate skin. Wondering what colloidal oatmeal is? It is nothing but a fine powder obtained by grinding oats.3 It helps restore moisture to the skin thereby reducing the itching. Moreover, some of the phenols present in oats have anti-inflammatory properties.4 Thus, it can sooth the swelling of prickly heat rashes.
How To Use It
- Take an oatmeal bath in lukewarm water.5
- Soak yourself in it for at least 15-20 minutes.
- After bath pat dry your body.
- You can also scrub the affected areas with oatmeal to ease itching and irritation.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another home remedy that can relieve you from heat rash.6 It removes dead cells and other dirt that block the skin pores, thus, preventing the sweat from getting trapped. Also, with its soothing and anti-inflammatory effects, it can relieve you from itching, which comes with prickly heat.7
How To Use It
- Add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bath water.8
- You can also mix three to four drops of lavender essential oil with one cup of baking soda and add it to the bath water.9 The anti-fungal nature of lavender oil helps you clear the skin pores from impurities.
3. Aloe Vera
Bringing down your body temperature is an effective way to address prickly heat. Aloe vera’s cooling and moistening effect will be helpful in keeping your body cool.10 It is also well-known for its wound healing and anti-inflammatory activity.11 Thus, you get relief from the irritation and inflammation of the skin that happens due to prickly heat. Aloe vera offers a protective coating stopping the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. This, in turn, prevents pores from clogging.12
How To Use It
- Extract the natural gel from the aloe leaf.13
- Apply it on the skin affected by exposure to heat.
This natural coolant is a must-have in your household during summers. It is loaded with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.14 Apart from these nutrients, ninety-six percent of cucumber is water. Thus, a cucumber drink can cool your body, keeping you safe from prickly heat. The cooling and cleansing characteristics of cucumber also clear your inflammatory skin conditions.15
How To Use It
- Eat peeled, raw cucumber slices or drink a cucumber juice.16
- Keep sliced cucumber over the affected region.17
5. Margosa Leaf
When you suffer from prickly heat, itching irritates you the most. The antifungal and antibacterial nature of margosa leaves, also called neem leaves, can soothe this itching.18
How To Use It
- Grind a handful of neem leaves to make a paste.19
- Apply it over rashes.
- Bathe in the water in which neem leaves have been boiled.20
Cornstarch might be common in your household. As an antiperspirant, it helps you reduce excessive sweating, thus, saving you from the main cause of prickly heat.21 It can be used as a powder instead of talcum powder or deodorant for irritated skin.22 Cornstarch may cause rashes or swelling in those who are sensitive to corn or known to have corn allergies.23 So, make sure your skin is not allergic to cornstarch before using it.
How To Use It
- Apply it directly to the rash area.24
7. Cold Compress
Minimizing heat is the best way to fight prickly heat. Ice cubes can bring down swelling and inflammation, soothing your skin. Also, take a cold shower to reduce the prickling sensation.
How To Use It
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a cloth.
- Keep this in your infected area for 10 minutes every few hours.25
8. Sandalwood Powder/Paste
Are you looking for a home remedy that can cool off your skin? Go for sandalwood paste. The moisturizing properties of sandalwood are very effective in keeping your skin cool, preventing heat rashes.26 It reduces itching and inflammation associated with heat rashes.27 Sandalwood is also efficient in preventing profuse sweating, which is a reason behind prickly heat.28
How To Use It
- Use sandalwood powder over the affected area.29
- Mix sandalwood powder with water or rose water in equal amounts. Apply it on the infected area.30
- Use this paste twice daily.
Keep these preventive tips in mind when you go out:31
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid sweat accumulation
- Limit exposure to the sun
- Try to remain in shade
- Avoid oils, ointments or creams that would block the pores
- Use calamine lotion to soothe sore and irritated skin
If you cannot cope with excessive itching, it is safe to consult a doctor. Also, if the rash gets infected or if it persists for more than 4 days, you should seek medical attention.
Babies And Heat Rashes
The sweat ducts of babies are not fully developed. They may rupture easily, thus, blocking the perspiration from coming out. And this leads to heat rashes. The rash is usually seen on the neck, chest, and shoulders among babies. Take care of these things during summer to keep your baby safe from heat rashes:
- Choose soft, cotton clothing for your baby. Since cotton is a good absorbent, it keeps moisture away.32
- Stay in air-conditioned areas or use fans to circulate the air.
- Do not use baby powders or creams as they warm skin and block the pores.
|↑1||Prickly Heat. National Health Service.|
|↑2||Heat Illness Prevention. State of California.|
|↑3||Schachner, Lawrence A. and Ronald C. Hansen. Pediatric Dermatology. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2011|
|↑4||Kurtz, Ellen S., and Warren Wallo. “Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties.” Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD 6, no. 2 (2007): 167-170.|
|↑5||DK. Neal’s Yard Beauty Book. Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 2015|
|↑6||Thacker, Emily. The Magic Of Baking Soda. James Direct, 2010|
|↑7||Craft-Rosenberg, Martha, and Shelley-Rae Pehler. Encyclopedia of family health. Vol. 1. Sage, 2011.|
|↑8||Heloise, Heloise Around the House: 2,647 Household Problems Solved from Basement to Attic. Rodale, 2003|
|↑9||Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Revised and Expanded. New World Library, 2016.|
|↑10||McIntyre, Anne. Herbal Treatment of Children: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2005.|
|↑11||Davis, Robert H., J. J. Donato, Glenn M. Hartman, and Richard C. Haas. “Anti-inflammatory and wound healing activity of a growth substance in Aloe vera.” Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 84, no. 2 (1994): 77.|
|↑12||Gage, Diane. Aloe vera: Nature’s soothing healer. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 1996.|
|↑13||Bryant, Bronwen, and Kathleen Knights. Pharmacology for health professionals. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014.|
|↑14||Basic Report: 11206, Cucumber, peeled, raw. United States Department of Agriculture|
|↑15, ↑16||McIntyre, Anne. Drink to Your Health: Delicious Juices, Teas, Soups, and Smoothies That Help You Look and Feel Great. Simon and Schuster, 2000.|
|↑17||Flaws, Bob. Keeping Your Child Healthy with Chinese Medicine: A Parent’s Guide to the Care and Prevention of Common Childhood Diseases. Blue Poppy Enterprises, Inc., 1996.|
|↑18||Subapriya, R., and S. Nagini. “Medicinal properties of neem leaves: a review.” Current Medicinal Chemistry-Anti-Cancer Agents 5, no. 2 (2005): 149-156.|
|↑19||Handa, Parvesh. Ayurveda for Health & Beauty. Lotus Press, 2006|
|↑20||Rastogī, Rekhā. Let Us Identify The Useful Trees(New). Children’s Book Trust, 2008|
|↑21, ↑23||Wiles, Michael R., Jonathan Williams, Kashif Ahmad, and Kashif A. Ahmad. Essentials of dermatology for chiropractors. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010.|
|↑22||Turkington, Carol, and Jeffrey S. Dover. The encyclopedia of skin and skin disorders. Infobase Publishing, 2009.|
|↑24, ↑25||London, Davina. Skin Cures from Your Kitchen Cupboard. Dorrance Publishing, 2014|
|↑26||Dodt, Colleen K. The Essential Oils Book: Creating Personal Blends for Mind & Body. Storey Publishing, 1996.|
|↑27||Shetty, Nirmala. Beauty At Your fingertips: Kitchen Remedies For Your Skin & Hair. Westland, 2014|
|↑28||Bakhru, H.H. Herbs That Heal:Natural Remedies For Good Health. Orient Paperbacks, 1992.|
|↑29||Sharma, Rashmi. Herbal Beauty Care. Pustak Mahal, 1996|
|↑30||Tirtha, Swami Sadashiva. The Ayurveda encyclopedia: Natural secrets to healing, prevention, and longevity. Sat Yuga Press, 2007.|
|↑31||Prickly heat. National Health Service|
|↑32||Babies and Heat Rashes. MedilinePlus|