Is it not enough that it's 90-plus degrees and 90-something-unbelievable percent humidity?
Argh! It's Prickly Heat!
The scourge of my summers since childhood, I ignite a patch of prickly heat every year somewhere along about July and it can't be doused until September. I usually erupt across my abdomen, but lately, as I reach a certain age with all of the horrific body morphing that goes along with that age, it reaches more hidden areas.
Prickly heat, or heat rash, is considered a sweating disorder and occurs when the sweat glands are blocked by clothing, body oils, bacteria, or dirt.
Prickly heat can run the gamut of severity, from a pinkish uncomfortable rash localized in one area to widespread and miserable. It is usually never anything to worry about though it does need to be taken care of as it can progress. Scratching excessively at the bumps can open them up and leave the sufferer vulnerable to a secondary infection. Don't scratch, right?
Also, because prickly heat is a sweating disorder, any time you have trouble cooling your body there can be much more serious issues lurking in the wings. When my batch of rash first appeared this summer, I had been working on a remodel in the Master Bath for several days. The temperature and humidity were through the roof and even though there was a pretty good breeze, the bathroom windows didn't face the right direction to catch it. I sweat like mad in spite of the fan. On the afternoon of the third day I felt the prickle. A couple hours later, I had a headache and didn't seem to be sweating as much. Uh-oh.
So what do you do once the prickle has erupted? In a word (or two)- cool off!
My first assault on this year's rash involved getting into the pool and staying there for a couple of hours.
It seemed like a good excuse anyway and it does help. The chlorine sort of dries your skin out, even though you're wet. Weird, I know.
I have discovered Snake Brand Prickly Heat Powder. Someone shared this with me when I was in SE Asia a couple years ago. It contains menthol, camphor, talc, and some other miscellaneous ingredients (eye of newt maybe?- it is magical)- love it, love it, love it. None of our local International Markets carry it so I have to order it off the Internet from Thailand. It doesn't take much and there is a definite cooling sensation.
Thanks for visiting - stay cool.