Prickly Heat Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Prickly Heat Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Prickly Heat Definition

Prickly heat, or miliaria, is a common skin disorder, especially in tropical countries. This skin disorder often occurs in children. Prickly heat occurs due to blockage of the sweat glands.

This blockage of sweat glands will cause complaints in the form of red spots and complaints of itching on the skin. Miliaria can occur anywhere on the body, but miliaria usually occurs on the face, neck and back.

Prickly Heat Reason

Prickly heat occurs for several reasons, such as:

  • High humidity and heat that stimulates sweat production
  • Clothes that are too tight, so the child’s body temperature rises and sweats
  • The child has a fever and sweats a lot
  • Poor skin hygiene

The various factors above can be modified to reduce the complaints of prickly heat. In addition, the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis is also believed to play a role in the occurrence of prickly heat

Prickly Heat Diagnosis

The diagnosis of prickly heat is based on a medical interview and physical examination. In the medical interview, information will be obtained in the form of complaints of itchy skin, a history of sweating, the use of thick clothes and poor personal hygiene.

On physical examination may be found the presence of redness, and papules (nodules) of the skin. In mild prickly heat, white, watery, and shiny nodules appear without itching. Meanwhile, in severe prickly heat, the rash looks red, itchy, watery, and feels sore.

There are three kinds of prickly heat, namely:

prickly heat can be grouped into three types:

  1. miliaria crystallina: This prickly heat occurs in the upper layer ( miliaria crystalline ). Symptoms that appear are small, watery and shiny bouncy skin. This type of prickly heat usually doesn’t itch, isn’t red, and breaks off on its own within 1 to 2 days of its appearance. In this type of miliaria no special treatment is needed, just avoid excessive heat, seek good ventilation, thin clothing and absorb sweat. You can also give a powder that contains Calamine which helps relieve skin irritation and reduces prickly heat, thus making your child’s skin healthy.
  1. Miliaria Rubra: This type of prickly heat occurs in the middle layer. Symptoms are skin that is red, itchy, bouncy, watery, sore, and scarred. Body parts that sweat a lot are often easy targets for miliaria Rubra. This type of prickly heat is often encountered and requires further treatment. Try giving a powder containing Calamine to cool and reduce itching on the skin. Cold compresses on miliaria if it is very itchy. Consult a local dermatologist if the prickly heat gets worse and has been going on for 3-4 days.
  1. Miliaria Profunda: This type of prickly heat is found in the deeper layers. It usually occurs after repeated miliaria Rubra. Clinically, it appears as white, hard nodules with a size of 1-3 millimeters without itching and inflammation. Because the location of the sweat plug is deeper, clinically it is more of a nodule than a fluid-filled bubble. However, this type of miliaria is more common in adults than in infants and children. This type of prickly heat requires further action, immediately to a local dermatologist for more appropriate treatment.

Prickly Heat Symptoms

Symptoms that are complained of by miliaria sufferers are itchy, sore and red skin. In more severe prickly heat can be found small bubbles or elastic filled with water.

Repeated scratching can cause scratching scars. Skin lesions are usually seen on clothing-covered areas such as the chest, back and areas that are compressed or rubbed against clothing.

Prickly Heat Treatment

There is no specific treatment for prickly heat. Prickly heat is usually quite treated with proper skin care. Avoid the heat and wear loose, breathable clothing. Use calamine lotion to soothe the affected skin. 

If the skin condition is accompanied by a secondary infection that is visible from the presence of pus or pus on the skin, then antibiotics can be considered. In skin lesions that are red and itchy, a low-potency hydrocortisone cream can be given. If itching is very bothersome, antihistamines may be considered. The use of ointments and medications should be monitored by a doctor.

Prickly Heat Prevention 

There are several things you can do to reduce the incidence of prickly heat. Some steps to prevent prickly heat such as:

  • Avoid exposure to heat. If you must travel outdoors, use an umbrella or hat to prevent exposure to excessive heat.
  • Wear loose, cotton clothing that absorbs sweat. If the clothes are wet with sweat, replace them with new clothes.
  • If your skin is sweaty, take a cold shower. If possible, work and do activities in a room with cool air or with air conditioning.
  • Use calamine lotion to soothe and reduce skin irritation.

Leave a Comment