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Heat Rash Or Prickly Heat

Heat rash is caused by a blockage of the sweat duct by a keratin plug. This condition is caused by excess sweating and inadequate evaporation of the sweat. If this occurs at the surface of the skin, small vesicles (blister-like sacs containing fluid) which are not inflamed, occur on the skin surface (miliaria crystallina). These blisters last only a few hours and burst spontaneously.

This form of miliaria does not itch. If the obstruction is deeper the sweat duct ruptures, producing inflamed papules (miliaria rubra) which is the more severe form of heat rash. The condition is characterised by an intense prickling sensation. This is aggravated by anything that stimulates sweat production.

The patient should be placed in a cool atmosphere and advised to reduce activity to a minimum. The main aim of topical treatment is to relieve the symptoms in order to make the patient comfortable. Soap should be avoided as it may further irritate the skin. Secondary bacterial infection is common.

Advice for the Patient

Avoid sweating: The patient should be advised to avoid situations which may lead to further sweating. Washing the Skin: As soap aggravates the condition, the affected area should be washed with diluted Pinetarsol Solution or Pinetarsol Bath Oil.

Do not use soap. Clothing: This should be light, airy and non-restrictive, preferably of cotton or silk. It should be rinsed well after washing to remove all traces of soap.

Products to Help (Soap Alternatives, Anti-pruritic)

An anti-itch, anti-inflammatory and cleansing solution with a pH of 6.5,
Pinetarsol Solution relieves itching and reduces inflammation. Bathing also helps to keep the skin and fingernails clean to reduce the risk of secondary infection caused by scratching. Add 15 - 30 mL to a warm to tepid bath (5 mL to a baby’s bath). Bathe for 5 - 10 minutes, once daily or more often in severe cases.

Pinetarsol Bath Oil is a non-greasy, water dispensable bath oil for the treatment of dry, itching, inflamed skin conditions. Containing pine tar, Pinetarsol Bath Oil reduces the inflammation and relieves pruritus. Pinetarsol Bath Oil also contains emollient oils to hydrate the skin. Due to the cleansing properties of Pinetarsol Bath Oil it may be used as a soap alternative. Add 15-30mL to a warm to tepid bath (5mL to a baby’s bath or hand basin) and bathe for 10 minutes once daily, more often in severe cases. Pat skin dry.

Products to Help (Topical Anti-inflammatories - Nonsteroidal)

Egozite Baby Cream is a very gentle, soothing cream containing zinc oxide, dimethicone and glycerol. Egozite Baby Cream is recommended when the skin is very tender and inflamed as it will reduce the redness of extremely irritated skin and help improve the tolerance to stronger preparations if needed. Apply to affected skin 3 times daily or as needed.