“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine…It’s summertime!” However, surviving this summer is certainly not going to be a breeze. With the temperatures rising everyday we are faced with another concern – prickly heat, a rash that looks like a cluster of small red bumps. These rashes are commonly seen on your back, neck, face and thighs. Babies often suffer from this on their buttocks, back and neck. The condition can be extremely uncomfortable and hard to bear. Below are some tips to deal with prickly heat for both you and your baby.
1. Keep the body cool
It is extremely important that the body remains cool, especially on hot summer days. A good way to do this is to keep yourself and your baby well-hydrated. Replenishing the loss of fluid by sweating is necessary to prevent your body from acting up. Stay in a cool, airy spot in the house and remember to cover yourself with scarves and caps when you go out in the sun. You can also carry mini battery operated fans to keep cool. It is best to keep your baby indoors on extremely hot days.
2. Dress accordingly
Make sure to keep diaper use to a minimum during summer. Babies become more susceptible to diaper rash in the summers due to the material. Airy, light coloured, cotton clothes are recommended for both babies and mothers during summer. Synthetic fibres tend to irritate the skin, making it prone to prickly heat rashes.
3. Summer coolers
This tip is solely for the mothers. Natural juices like that of tender coconut, lemon water and buttermilk have cooling effects on the body. More often than not, the taste of water is not appealing enough. In such cases, alternating with juices can be effective in keeping your body well hydrated and cool. However, avoid drinking caffeinated, aerated drinks or alcohol as these drinks further dehydrate your body.
4. Keep the skin clean
With summer comes sweat, and sweat becomes the breeding spot for prickly heat. It is important to constantly wipe off sweat with water, a wet wipe or a soft cloth. Bacteria build up causes prickly heat to develop or further intensify. Therefore, keeping the body clean is important, especially in the summer heat.
5. Keep the skin dry
After washing sweat off, remember to air dry the skin or wipe off any excess liquid. Bacteria love moist spots, which accelerate further buildup of bacteria causing the rashes and bumps to appear. Keeping the skin dry helps eliminate this problem. Powders are often a good way to absorb all the moistness caused by sweat.
6. Lotions and ointments
The best way to get rid of the irritation caused by prickly heat is to use calamine lotion, which soothes the skin by maintaining its pH levels. Lacto calamine is often a good solution, especially for children who suffer from prickly heat and have the urge to itch it (which only makes it worse).
If the rash becomes extremely severe, it is best to visit the doctor who would ideally prescribe some form of hydrocortisone cream, which would soothe the skin.