Prickly heat, also known as miliaria, is a common skin condition that can affect babies and young children, causing discomfort and irritation. Prickly heat often occurs in hot and humid weather and can affect people of all ages. Everyone faces this problem at some point, but because newborns have delicate skin, it typically causes them to feel quite uncomfortable.
Sensing how uncomfortable kids can get, perhaps you sometimes wonder how to get rid of prickly heat overnight. While seeking professional medical advice is important, there are several home remedies that may help alleviate the discomfort of prickly heat in babies. These home remedies for heat rash in newborns may provide temporary comfort, it is critical to monitor your baby’s condition and seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.
What Causes Prickly Heat In Kids?
Basically, prickly heat occurs when sweat ducts in the skin become blocked, trapping sweat beneath the skin’s surface. Small red bumps or rashes appear on the skin as a result. Although it frequently develops on the neck, buttocks, and skin creases, it can occur everywhere on the body. Heat burns are not dangerous. It is simple to cure at home.
Several factors can contribute to the development of prickly heat in children:
- Overdressing and non-breathable clothing: Dressing kids in excessive layers of clothing or clothing made of non-breathable materials can hinder proper ventilation and increase the likelihood of sweat duct blockage. Tight-fitting clothes can also contribute to friction on the skin, exacerbating the condition
- Hot and humid weather: Prickly heat is most commonly seen in hot and humid climates. In such conditions, the body naturally produces more sweat to cool down. However, when the sweat ducts become clogged, the sweat cannot escape to the surface, resulting in the formation of small, itchy red bumps on the skin
- Underdeveloped sweat glands: Infants and young children have sweat glands that are still maturing. Their sweat glands may not be fully functional or efficient in regulating body temperature, making them more prone to developing prickly heat
- Prolonged physical activity: Active kids who engage in prolonged physical activity or sports may experience increased sweating. The combination of excessive sweating and friction from movement can contribute to the development of prickly heat
- Certain medications: Some medications, such as antipyretics or fever-reducing drugs, can interfere with the body’s natural sweating mechanism, causing sweat to be trapped beneath the skin and leading to prickly heat1
- Prolonged bed rest or immobility: Children who are bedridden or have limited mobility due to illness or injury may develop prickly heat in areas where the skin remains in contact with the bedding or surfaces for extended periods. This can obstruct sweat ducts and lead to the formation of heat rash
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9 Home Remedies For Prickly Heat In Babies And Kids
Despite the fact that miliaria affects all age groups and both sexes equally, newborns and young children are more vulnerable because of the immaturity of the eccrine duct2. When babies and kids develop prickly heat, a common skin condition characterized by small, itchy red bumps, your first impulse will probably be to take them to the doctor.
Do you know certain home remedies can provide relief and aid in soothing their discomfort? These remedies are safe and gentle, focusing on maintaining a cool and dry environment for the affected areas. From dressing children in breathable clothing to using natural remedies like aloe vera gel and cool baths, these home remedies can help alleviate prickly heat symptoms and promote healing in a child-friendly manner.
Let us examine some effective home remedies for heat rash in newborns:
1. Apply calamine lotion
Calamine lotion helps relieve a variety of skin irritations. Many mothers have practiced applying calamine lotion for heat rash on their babies. Calamine lotion is really beneficial to remove prickly heat from a baby’s face and skin creases. It has antipruritic, antiseptic, hemostatic, and antibacterial properties that may help to protect the skin3.
As a result, it is used to treat skin rashes and itching. Keep your baby’s skin moisturized with a moisturizing cream if you use calamine lotion, as the lotion might dry out the skin.
2. Oatmeal bath
A quick and inexpensive way to treat a variety of skin problems in infants is to soak them in an oatmeal bath. For generations, oatmeal has been utilized as a calming substance to treat the itch and discomfort associated with numerous xerotic dermatoses4.
The oatmeal will assist in skin exfoliation and sweat duct cleansing. Oatmeal baths are one of the most effective home remedies for heat rash in newborns. This home remedy is excellent for relieving any discomfort or itching associated with prickly heat in babies.
Related Reading: Night Sweats In Babies- All You Need To Know
3. Aloe Vera
Most skin issues can be miraculously resolved with aloe vera. The plant is well known for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects5. Moreover, it hydrates and cools the skin. As a result, it works wonders for treating summertime skin issues like sunburns and prickly heat in young children.
This plant can be used to relieve prickly heat in the following ways. Extract the gel from the leaves of an aloe vera plant. Apply this gel to the infected areas of your toddler, and then let it remain there for about 20 minutes. Using a cold washcloth, remove the gel. Alternatively, you could also give your child a cold bath.
4. Neem leaf paste
Despite being bitter, neem leaves have a variety of medicinal uses. It has antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties6. Neem leaves are used in a variety of skin-care products, including those used to treat prickly heat.
Here’s how you can use neem to help fight your toddler’s prickly heat. Make a paste of neem leaves and water. Apply this paste to all affected areas and leave it on for 20 minutes. Using cold water, rinse the paste off. Be careful not to get too close to the lips because the bitterness might get into their mouth.
Cucumber is known for its soothing properties. It is a popular vegetable that has long been used in traditional Indian medicine. It has a soothing effect on skin irritations and helps reduce swelling. Cucumbers can also help soothe and reduce the pain of a sunburn7.
Slice the cucumber, place the slices directly on the troubled areas of your baby’s skin, and let it be there for some time. Prior to giving your kid a bath, you can also apply cucumber pulp to the rash to calm the skin.
If your baby has a heat rash, one thing to keep in mind after bathing them is to completely dry their skin before dressing them. If not, moisture that is pressed up against the skin can aggravate the rash and make it worse. The skin can be dried most effectively by first washing it with cool water and then patting it dry with a soft towel.
6. Be sure that your baby is properly hydrated
One of the finest things you can do for your kid with a heat rash is to give them a lot of water. Water is ideal for older babies, while breast milk or formula is ideal for newborns under six months. The body’s cooling processes cannot function correctly without adequate water.
Related Reading: 8 Tips To Get Your Toddler To Drink More Water
Additionally, excessive perspiration frequently happens prior to a heat rash developing as the body tries to cool itself off, which causes dehydration. Offer a small amount of liquid at a time to avoid straining your child’s stomach.
7. Sandal paste
Along with having a divine scent, sandalwood is useful for treating a variety of skin issues. In addition to being a natural astringent, it instantly cools the skin. Sandalwood has a combination of these qualities, making it a potent treatment for prickly heat.
Sandalwood powder and rosewater should be combined in equal amounts to create a paste that can be applied topically to treat heat rash. Apply this paste to the trouble spots, then let it dry. Use cold water to rinse off. As an alternative, combine dried coriander leaf powder with sandalwood powder. Coriander calms and cools the skin and is a natural antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antifungal agent8.
According to research, topical application of chamomile, which is known for its antihistamine properties, can help reduce inflammation caused by prickly heat9. The herb has a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.
A few chamomile tea bags should be soaked in warm water and then applied to the afflicted areas. Never use hot water to soak a tea bag; only warm water is acceptable.
9. Essential oils and plant oils
Tea tree oil is very effective at treating skin conditions, including prickly heat, as it is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties10. Always dilute tea tree oil before using it, and avoid applying it directly to your baby’s skin.
You can also use chamomile essential oil to relieve your baby’s heat rashes. It has anti-inflammatory qualities that can treat heat rashes11. You should not apply it directly to the baby’s skin. A drop or two of chamomile essential oil can be mixed with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to create a diluted version that can be used instead.
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Plant oils can aid in skin healing. These plant-based oils are now more widely acknowledged for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the skin, promotion of wound healing, and repair of the skin barrier12.
Not all plant oils are suitable for use on a baby’s sensitive skin. Olive and coconut oils, on the other hand, can relieve itching caused by heat rash and promote skin regeneration. Apply extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil to the rash several times a day until it heals.
This is not the end of the list. You can also use multani mitti, besan powder, and other remedies to relieve babies’ prickly heat. Additionally, applying ice cubes to the affected area may temporarily ease the itching and discomfort of prickly heat.
How To Safeguard Children From Prickly Heat Rashes?
It is worth noting that prevention is key when it comes to heat rash. Taking measures to stay cool, dry, and comfortable in hot and humid environments can significantly reduce the likelihood of developing a heat rash.
Preventing and managing prickly heat in kids:
- Dress appropriately: During the hot season, dress kids in loose-fitting, lightweight clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton. Cotton’s high absorbency capacity keeps the baby’s skin dry. Loose clothes also allow air circulation and help prevent sweat duct blockage
- Encourage kids to drink plenty of fluids: Encourage children to drink enough fluids to keep them hydrated, as good hydration can help regulate body temperature and decrease excessive perspiration
- Keep the environment cool: Maintain a comfortable and cool environment for kids, especially during hot and humid weather. Use fans, air conditioning, or keep windows open to promote ventilation
- Change diaper more often: Changing a baby’s nappy as soon as it becomes wet or soiled will help avoid developing prickly heat in the bump area in infants
- Encourage the child to take regular baths on hot summer days: Encourage regular baths or showers using lukewarm water to help cool down the body and cleanse the skin. Scrubbing vigorously or using abrasive soaps can make the skin more irritated. To prevent further pore blockage in infants, it is best to avoid using any soap, even mild soap, and only use water. Allow your baby to air dry rather than rubbing the skin with a towel
- Avoid excessive moisture: Pat the skin gently after bathing to ensure it is thoroughly dry. Excessive moisture on the skin can contribute to sweat duct blockage
- Avoid friction: Minimize friction on the skin by avoiding tight clothing or rough fabrics. Opt for loose and comfortable clothing to reduce the chances of irritation
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How Long Does Heat Rash Last?
The severity of the rash determines how quickly prickly heat subsides and the heat rash goes away. Heat rash typically disappears on its own in a few days or weeks. It might, however, last for a longer time under different conditions.
Mild cases of heat rash typically disappear in a few days with the appropriate care and precautions. If the affected area is kept cold, dry, and well-ventilated, the clogged sweat ducts may eventually open up, and the rash will disappear. The healing process can be accelerated by avoiding excessive wetness, using breathable, loose-fitting clothes, and taking regular, mild showers.
The recovery process from moderate to severe heat rash could take up to two weeks. These conditions might involve more intense inflammation and sweat duct obstruction, requiring more time for the skin to fully recover. It is crucial to practice good hygiene, avoid engaging in strenuous physical activity, and give the affected person a cool, comfortable environment.
Although heat rash is typically a harmless and self-limiting condition, it is always crucial to monitor the rash and seek medical help if necessary. The best course of action is to see a doctor if the heat rash lasts for a long time, gets worse, or displays infection-related symptoms (such as increased redness, swelling, pain, or pus).
These easy and natural home treatments for prickly heat in newborns and children can help parents provide their young ones with excellent relief and comfort. After reducing risk factors and shifting to a cooler, less humid environment, the majority of miliaria cases resolve on their own. To ensure your child receives the finest treatment for the health of their skin, keep in mind that if the disease persists or gets worse, you should always visit a doctor.