Prickly Heat

Prickly heat or miliaria rubra is small, itchy bumps caused by inflammed, plugged sweat ducts.

Symptoms of Prickly Heat

The symptoms of prickly heat are:

  • Small, red bumps
  • Itching
  • Located on the back, chest, and stomach area

Tiny blisters of miliaria or prickly heat.

A similar condition called miliaria crystalina, the following symptoms are observed:

  • Tiny blisters that look like beads of sweat
  • Unlike sweat, these blisters cannot be "wiped away"

Causes of Prickly Heat

Prickly heat develops when the sweat ducts are inflammed and become plugged. This causes sweat or perspiration to remain in the skin rather than being secreted out.

In miliaria crystalina, the sweat is trapped at the exit point of the sweat ducts, right below the outermost layer of the skin.

When Does Prickly Heat Happen?

This skin condition occurs mostly in hot and humid conditions. It can also happen during cold winter weather, if the person sweats because of wearing clothings that are too warm.

Prevention of Prickly Heat

Prevent prickly heat by:

  • Wearing cool clothings
  • Taking cool baths and showers
  • Avoiding heavy sweating because of hot temperatures and physical exertions
  • Using air conditioning to cool the room

Treatment of Prickly Heat

There is no cure for prickly heat - however, most of the symptoms should resolve themselves within a few days.

To alleviate the itching, use an over-the-counter anti-itch cream.

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