Prickly Heat Treatment
Various Approaches To Prickly Heat Treatment
Prickly heat treatment is normally not terribly complicated, and can be done using home remedies if the outbreak is not too severe. The medical term for prickly heat is milaria, not to be confused with malaria, a well-known, dangerous, and unpleasant disease. Prickly heat, milaria, can nevertheless be very unpleasant in some cases, and at times prickly heat treatment should be left to a medical professional.
Levels Of Severity - There are four defined levels of prickly heat severity, ranging from tiny lesions which do not appear to cause any notable symptoms, and referred to as milaria crystalline, to the most severe case, milaria profunda, which is characterized by severe burning sensations, repeated outbreaks, and carries with it a danger of heat exhaustion. The most common prickly heat condition, milaria rubra, is characterized by larger lesions, intense itching, and a noticeable lack of sweating in affected areas, which can contribute to heat exhaustion, especially when large areas of skin are affected. At this level however, the possibility of extreme heat exhaustion is not particularly great, and can be lessened if the sufferer ceases any heat-generating activity.
A fourth type of milaria is known as milaria pustulosa. In this case lesions or rashes have become infected and pustules are formed.
When one experiences milder forms of prickly heat, the only treatment needed may be one of taking it easy and abstaining from activities that are apt to bring on sweating. When prickly heat is in evidence, and it is a disease, any sweat generated has a tendency to "leak' into the inner layers of skin, which causes inflammation, and also the small blisters. Those who live in the tropics and small children whose sweat glands are not yet fully developed have a greater propensity towards contracting the disease. The best treatment therefore is to try to avoid sweating. In mild cases, frequent cool baths can provide needed relief. Mild cases usually go away in a matter of a few days, though a return of the condition is always a possibility. More severe cases of prickly heat can linger for weeks.
Choosing Topical Cremes - Some topical cremes may be beneficial in soothing the symptoms and even in effectively treating prickly heat, but care must be taken to avoid any cremes or lotions, especially oil-based lotions, which might clog sweat glands and make conditions worse. There are powders on the market (talc) which contain infection fighting ingredients, and also contain menthol to provide some cooling relief. It's important than any topical treatment used is not something that might harden the skin, as some cortisone ointments tend to do.
Simple Treatments - Aside from topical remedies, cold showers, cold compresses, and cooling lotions are often all that are required to bring relief and bring the disease under control. Oatmeal mixtures can help greatly in reducing itching, and simply exposing the skin to cool fresh air as much as possible is helpful. Constrictive clothing or bandages of any kind should be avoided. Applications of Aloe Vera lotion and Benadryl are also quite effective, as is a bicarbonate of soda paste. Medical attention is definitely required should any lesions begin to open, as the possibility of infection increases, which can bring with it a whole new set of complications.
It should be remembered that prickly heat isn't just a condition, but is a disease. Fortunately it is a disease that is both treatable and preventable. As mentioned before, those who live in tropical climates are more susceptible, but obesity and poor hygiene can also contribute to an onset of this disease. There are also indications that prickly heat can be genetically inherited.
One of the best methods of preventing prickly heat is to avoid wearing clothing that will in hot weather promote perspiration, but will not allow the perspiration to evaporate and cool the skin. Tight polyester clothing should be worn with caution in this regard.