Summer is here and so is the time for prickly heat, commonly known as heat rash or sweat rash.
Known as miliaria in medical terms, this skin problem affects adults, children and even infants during summer, causing itchy rash of small, raised red spots with a prickling or stinging sensation.
Prickly heat usually affects the covered parts of the body, like the back, abdomen, neck, upper chest, groin or armpits.
Here are 10 ways to treat prickly heat naturally:
Oatmeal, due to its anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, is a popular treatment for prickly heat.
Mix one cup of finely ground oatmeal powder to cool water in a bathtub, soak yourself in this water for half an hour, pat dry your body.
2. Cold Compress
Cold compress on the affected area, provides instant relief from prickly heat.
Wrap few ice cubes in a piece of cotton cloth, put in on the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat every six hours for three days.
3. Sandalwood Powder
The cooling properties of sandalwood help effectively eliminate prickly heat.
Make a paste of sandalwood powder and rose water in 1:1 ratio. Apply this paste on the affected skin, let it dry, rinse off with cold water. Do it twice daily for a week.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda also is a great way to treat prickly heat by working as a gentle exfoliating agent.
Add one teaspoon of baking soda to one cup of cold water, soak a clean piece of cotton cloth, wring out excess water, put the wet cloth on the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat four times a day for 7 days.
5. Fuller’s Earth
Fuller’s Earth, popularly known as multani mitti, is a great agent to reduce itching due to prickly heat.
Make a paste with five tablespoons of Fuller’s Earth and three tablespoons of rose water, apply on affected areas, let it dry, wash off with cold water. Apply this treatment once daily for 7 days.
6. Margosa Leaves
Margosa leaves, popular as neem, are rich in anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that help control prickly heat itching and inflammation.
Grind fresh neem leaves into a paste, apply the paste on the affected area, let it dry and then rinse off with cold water. Repeat once daily for a week.
7. Aloe Vera
Due to its anti-inflammatory and cooling agents, aloe vera is an effective home remedy for prickly heat.
Get fresh aloe vera gel, rub gently on affected skin, leave it for 20 minutes, take a cold shower. Repeat twice daily for a week.
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8. Gram Flour
Gram flour absorbs extra moisture off the body, removes dead skin cells, opens up clogged pores and gives relief from inflammation.
Make a paste with little water and two to three tablespoons of gram flour, apply on affected skin, let it dry for 15 minutes, wash off with cold water. Do it once daily for a week.
9. Raw mangoes
Yes, you read it right! None cools you down like raw mangoes.
Boil two raw mangoes in two cups of water, squeeze out the pulp and add it to chilled water. You may add rock salt and sugar for taste. Drink it twice daily for a week to get relief from prickly heat itching.
Cucumbers, known for their cooling effect, can also give relief from itching.
Cut a cucumber into thin slices, soak them in a bowl of cold water mixed with two tablespoons of lemon juice. Leave it for a few minutes. Now put the soaked cucumber slices on the affected area for 10 minutes. Do thrice daily for a week.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.