Prickly heat is an extremely irritating skin rash which develops in hot weather. It occurs – more in some people than in others – when the small blood vessels under the skin widen as the temperature rises. The extra blood they then supply to the surface of the body acts as the body’s radiator, allowing heat to escape, and the extra blood supplies the extra liquid which the sweat glands release as sweat. As the tissues swell with extra blood and tissue fluids, the skin becomes congested and the pores are squeezed and then blocked. The sweat builds up under the skin and causes a rash known as prickly heat or Miliaria rubra.
Sufferers from prickly heat will quickly recognise the emergence of small red pimples or blisters. The tissues look red because the small blood vessels are open wide, while the engorged tissues cause discomfort and feel prickly.
There’s no simple, quick remedy, but if you can immerse yourself in water to keep cool, you should feel better. Covering yourself with light, white clothing will help and, obviously, keeping out of direct sunlight is a good idea, too. Calamine cream or lotions will cool the skin and antihistamine tablets can bring great relief.
Caladryl, Eurax Cream, Mycil Powder. See also HAY FEVER
66 for antihistamines