PRICKLY HEAT(Heat Rash; Miliaria Rubra; Sweat Retention)
(Heat Rash; Miliaria Rubra; Sweat Retention)
DESCRIPTIONPrickly heat is a skin disorder characterized by a non-inflammatory, itchy rash caused by obstructed sweat-gland ducts. The skin, particularly in the diaper area, is involved. Prickly heat can affect both sexes, all ages, but is most common in infants.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications, if home care fails.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Clusters of vesicles (small, fluid-filled skin blisters) or red rash without vesicles in areas of heavy perspiration.
Obstruction of sweat-gland ducts for unknown reasons.
Hot, humid weather.
Genetic factors, such as fair, sensitive skin.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEYour child should stay indoors in refrigerated air-conditioned buildings during hot, humid weather.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor (severe cases only).
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSSecondary skin infection.
Usually curable with treatment in 6 weeks to 6 months. Recurrence is common.
Change diapers on infants as soon as they are wet.
Expose the affected skin to air as much as possible.
Apply lubricating ointment or cream to the child's skin 6 or 7 times a day.
Use cool-water soaks to relieve the child's itching and hasten healing. Pat the skin dry, and dust with cornstarch after and between soaks.
Your child should take frequent cool showers or tub baths.
Your child should wear cotton socks and leather-soled footwear rather than shoes made of man-made materials.
Don't use binding materials, such as adhesive tape, on your child.
Your child should avoid sunburn after having had prickly heat. The body's inflammatory reaction to sunburn may trigger a new outbreak of prickly heat.
Urge your older child not to wear tight pantyhose or girdles.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may suggest non-prescription steroid cream to apply 2 or 3 times a day.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your child should decrease activity during hot, humid weather or until skin heals.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child's prickly heat doesn't improve in 10 days, despite home care.