As the weather gets warmer, so does your chance of developing millaria, also known as heat rash or prickly heat. This is caused by perspiration getting caught under the skin, causing inflammation and irritation. Heat rash is common in newborns because of immature sweat glands, however, anyone can get this type of rash during hot, humid weather.
Those who come from a cooler or less humid climate and switch to a hot, humid climate are even more susceptible because their sweat glands are not as developed. These people can sometimes experience heat rash for several weeks until their sweat glands acclimate to the new climate.
While there aren’t any methods of eliminating heat rash, there are some ways you can help to reduce the rash and itchy feeling that sometimes accompanies it.
- Wear lightweight, cotton clothing. If it is cool in the morning, wear layers so you can remove the outer layers as the day warms.
- Make sure your slothes are loose-fitting. Tight-fitting clothes can irritate the skin.
- Limit your time outdoors in the heat. Stay in air-conditioned buildings or seek the shade when outdoors.
- Use air-conditioning, and make sure the room is well-ventilated when sleeping.
- Take cool showers and use moisturizing soaps or shower gels. Allow your skin to air dry and put on moisturizer when skin is still damp.
- Avoid sunscreen, moisturizers, ointments and creams that contain petroleum or mineral oil, as these can block pores, causing perspiration to get trapped under the skin.
- Avoid strenuous exercise or other activity that causes excessive sweating while in the heat.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep your skin hydrated from the inside.
_Heat rash is not normally dangerous and usually disappears as your sweat glands adjust to a heavier amount of sweat or as the temperatures cool and you are not sweating as much. However, if your rash doesn’t go away after about four days, if it worsens, becomes swollen or oozes pus, you should contact your doctor. _
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Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.