What is Prickly Heat Rash?
Prickly heat, also commonly known as heat rash or by it's medical name miliaria, is a mild to painful skin rash that often appears during warm and humid weather, although it can also appear year round for some sufferers, most noticeably people who work in hot conditions or who take part in strenuous exercise.
Why does it appear?
Heat rash develops when blocked pores (sweat ducts) trap perspiration under the skin. It typically happens when the skin surface is warmer than normal and sweat stays in contact with skin for an extended period of time. It can appear on any part of the body (including the face); most commonly the neck, shoulders and chest, also in skin folds where clothing causes friction, armpits, groin, elbow creases and under breasts.
What does it look like?
A redness of the skin, often accompanied by clusters of small pimples which may resemble goosebumps. For a more details, see the three types of heat rash categories below.
What does it feel like?
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and painful. Skin may feel hot to the touch. The sufferer may feel an itchy, burning or prickly sensation in the affected area. This is the origin for the common term "prickly heat rash". In some cases, the rash may form pus-filled blisters.
What are the different types of prickly heat rash?
Heat rash can be divided into three categories, generally classified according to how deep the blocked sweat ducts are. Signs and symptoms for each type vary.
Miliaria crystallina is the mildest form of heat rash and affects the sweat ducts in the top layer of skin. This form is marked by fluid-filled blisters and bumps (papules) that break easily. It’s more common in children and babies than adults. It may not itch or burn, and the small clustered bumps on the skin will appear clear or flesh-toned. The bumps are filled with sweat and you may notice them bursting. Heat rash in children can sometimes look like baby acne.
Miliaria rubra occurs deeper in the skin and is often referred to as prickly heat. It’s more common in adults than in children and it causes red, itchy or prickly feeling bumps on the skin. The affected area may also look inflamed, because sweat pools underneath. Miliaria rubra is known to cause more discomfort than miliaria crystallina because it occurs deeper in the outer layer of the skin, or the epidermis. Occasionally, fluid-containing sacs (vesicles) of miliaria rubra become inflamed and pus-filled (pustular). This condition is called miliaria pustulosa.
Miliaria profunda is a less common and more severe form of heat rash which affects the dermis, a deeper layer of skin. Retained sweat leaks out of the sweat gland into the skin, causing firm, flesh-coloured bumps. The bumps may feel tough or hard.
What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, especially during warm weather, there's a good chance you have prickly heat rash. Unless the symptoms are severe, you will not need to see a doctor and the symptoms can be relieved quickly. For the prevention and treatment of heat rash, follow our link to the next page here:
Heat Rash Prevention & Treatment
Alternatively, go directly to our product page to see buying options for Snake Brand prickly heat cooling powder, which works by cooling the skin and providing rapid relief from heat rash pain and itching. See here for details:
Heat Rash Prevention & Treatment
Follow these tips to help protect yourself from heat rash:
Avoid overdressing. In summer, wear soft, lightweight, cotton clothing. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that can irritate skin. Wear a sweat-wicking hat. This will draw moisture and sweat away from the body.
When it's hot, stay in the shade or in an air-conditioned building, or use a fan to circulate the air.
Take a cold shower. Showering in cool or cold water will remove sweat while cooling the skin. If you cannot avoid spending time outdoors in hot weather, make sure you take regular breaks from the sun by going indoors to cool off. This tip may appear at odds with your idea of the perfect beach holiday, but if you're susceptible to heat rash, it can save you from pain and discomfort. Go to any tropical country and you'll notice that the locals spend most of their time in the shade, even when using the beach.
Keep your sleeping area cool and well-ventilated. Get a breathable pillow case if you experience heat rash on the face.
How do I treat heat rash?
The good news is that mild heat rash will typically clear on its own once you have taken steps to cool down, either by retreating to an air-conditioned room, taking a cold shower, or applying a cooling powder or spray. However, painful prickly heat can be very uncomfortable and you may wish to apply more immediate methods of relief.
Remove tight-fitting clothing. Allow air to circulate around the affected area.
Apply a cold compress. If you feel your skin overheating, apply an ice pack or a cold compress to the area.
Avoid using oil based products or creams, which will block sweat ducts and exacerbate the onset of symptoms. Instead, apply a cooling body powder, which will keep skin pores open and absorb excess sweat.
We recommend Snake Brand Prickly Heat Cooling Powder, with more than 70 years of proven results in the rapid relief and treatment of heat rash. Snake Brand powder is sold around the world and is the go-to product for sufferers of prickly heat. To see buying options of Snake Brand cooling powder, go directly to our products page here:
"Brilliant product - a must buy!"
"Fantastic product - didn't suffer with prickly heat at all during my 2 week holiday in Costa Rica (37degree heat!)View products
"This is aircon in a tin"
"I hate sweating. Splashing some of this across areas prone to sweat keeps them nice and dry. The initial coolness that the powder gives last for a good while and really calms my skin."View products
"This stuff is great. Really cooling for prickly heat, it stops the itching and calms the inflamation. I've used it on insect bites too and it seems to have the same effect. Recommended if you're travelling somewhere hot."View products
banish your heat rash
heat rash at work
There's nothing worse than feeling hot and sticky at work. Thankfully, Snake Brand Cooling Powder can bring a level of comfort to long days or nights spent in the most unforgiving of workplaces. Apply to the skin and experience a degree of freshness and dryness you haven't felt before.
heat rash on holiday
Beach holidays in hot weather can be pretty uncomfortable if you suffer with heat rash.
Make sure you stock up with Snake Brand Cooling Powder before your trip and enjoy the holiday of a lifetime!
heat rash & fitness
Yes, Snake Brand Cooling Powder can give you an extra edge during and after fitness training. Apply liberally to those areas of the skin which become tender or sore during exercise. Snake Brand will keep you feeling drier for longer, adding a small measure of comfort to your training routine.