Prickly Heat Rash: 4 Things You Need to Know About It


Medically reviewed by

Dr. Anudeep Sriram

Skin & Hair

4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Prickly heat rash is a common skin condition in summer
  • Wearing tight clothes can cause prickly heat rashes
  • Prickly heat rashes usually go away on their own

Medically known as miliaria, prickly heat rash is a type of rash that forms when sweat gets trapped in your skin [1]. Common in children, this skin issue can affect adults too. These prickly heat rashes usually affect the part of your body covered with clothing, such as your abdomen, neck, back, groin, armpits, and chest. The condition is characterized by itchy rashes made up of small, red spots that cause a stinging or prickly sensation. Read on to learn about the causes and symptoms of prickly heat, and learn about prickly heat treatment.

Additional Read: Sunburn Treatment: 5 Top Remedies to Ease Your Pain and Irritation

What are the causes of prickly heat rashes?

Rapid sweating may lead to blockage in your sweat ducts. As a result, sweat fails to come out through your skin and remains trapped under your skin's surface. In such situations, prickly heat rashes form. As frequent sweating is associated with the summer season, it is also the time when you may get the most prickly heat rashes.

This skin disorder is linked to bacteria that are normally present on your skin. These bacteria block your sweat glands by forming a film and lead to prickly heat rashes and other skin problems. Other triggers of prickly heat rashes include tight bandages, oral medicines, warm and tight clothes, patches of medicine, health conditions that make you sweat, hot climate, and more.

Prickly Heat Rash treatment options

What are the prickly heat symptoms?

The most common symptoms of prickly heat include [2]

  • Red bumps
  • Tiny blisters 
  • Redness
  • Rash
  • Itching on the area of skin

Prickly heat rashes may quickly spread to other parts of your body, but that doesn't make the condition contagious. You may find signs of this skin rash similar to eczema symptoms. Consult a doctor immediately if they last longer.

How can you prevent prickly heat rashes?

Here are the shortcuts to prevent prickly heat rashes [3]:

  • Take cold water baths and showers multiple times a day
  • When you are outdoors, spend more time in shade than under sunlight
  • Make sure to wear loose clothes
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Use cotton and linen as your bedclothes
  • Use fans or ACs wherever possible
  • Change clothes immediately after they become sweaty
  • Avoid applying any skincare products that could make you sweat.
prickly heat symptoms

What are the treatment options for prickly heat rashes?

In usual cases of prickly heat, there is no need for separate treatment as they go away naturally. However, here are some home remedies to stay comfortable:

  • Spend sufficient time in a cooler environment
  • Bathe with cold water
  • Do not scratch your skin
  • Apply cold compress on the affected parts of the skin
  • Avoid possible triggers of prickly heat like skincare products
Prickly Heat Rash -62

Apart from these, you can manage prickly heat symptoms with different lotions and ointments available over the counter. Consult a dermatologist immediately in case you suspect an infection. Here are the common signs of skin infection:

  • Pus coming out of your blisters
  • Fever
  • Chills 
  • Increased pain
  • More redness 
  • Affected skin feels warm to the touch
  • Swelling
  • Swollen lymph nodes 

Even if you feel that your symptoms are not going away or worsening, talk to your doctor immediately.

Additional Read: 9 Top Coffee Benefits for Skin and Health

Though prickly heat is not a concerning health disorder, it is crucial to be aware of its signs and symptoms. Watch out for this condition during summer by keeping yourself cool and hydrated, even while working outdoors. If your symptoms refuse to go away, consult a doctor immediately. You can get a doctor's consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health for expert advice on any kind of skin problem. For healthy and glowing skin, get guidance from top specialists in your city. Book now from the comfort of your home!

Published on 30 Apr 2022Last updated on 30 Nov 2022

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


Health Videos

Mobile Frame
Download our app

Download the Bajaj Health App

Stay Up-to-date with Health Trends. Read latest blogs on health and wellness. Know More!

Get the link to download the app

Google PlayApp store