How can I prevent prickly heat?

Make sure the summer heat doesn’t ruin your holiday, with The Organic Pharmacy co-founder, Margo Marrone’s holistic tips


How can I prevent prickly heat?

Occurring in hot and humid weather, heat rash or prickly heat is the name given to tiny itchy eruptions on the skin’s surface. These small, red bumps appear when sweat ducts get blocked and the sweat cannot escape, which causes inflammation. Untreated, it can be very uncomfortable but, with a few precautionary steps, you can prevent it.

Chemical sun creams can actually exacerbate heat rash, as they absorb the sun’s rays, which makes the skin warmer and more prone to overheating. Mineral sunscreen, on the other hand, reflects rays, and will reduce the likelihood of heat rash. It is important to choose sun creams that contain soothing ingredients, such as shea butter and aloe vera, and avoid any products that have artifi cial fragrances or petrochemicals. Similarly, avoid highly fragranced or irritating moisturisers, after-sun creams and make-up when you are suffering from heat rash.

Nettle extract works beautifully on this type of rash – both as a preventative and a treatment. Taking a homeopathic remedy that combines nettles along with Sol, both before sun exposure and twice a day during exposure can really help, too. You can also buy after-sun creams that include nettle extract, which will further help to soothe the rash. Keep your skin as cool as possible by wearing breathable fabrics, such as cotton, and avoid clothes that are tight or rub the skin.

If you suffer from severe heat rash, take quercetin and vitamin C tablets at least three days before sun exposure, and twice a day during exposure. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine and helps reduce the itch and eruptions.

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