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27 Effective Home Remedies For Prickly Heat

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ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
27 Effective Home Remedies For Prickly Heat September 18, 2017

Itchy, inflamed rashes trouble you during the summers? You have landed on the right web page today. We bring you an article that delves into the depths of your kitchen cabinets to provide you simple home remedies for prickly heat.

Summers spell a scorching hot sun, unbearably high temperatures, and excessive sweating. Spending a day under the sweltering heat can leave you with tiny reddish, itchy rashes. Prickly heat is not a grave condition but is something that needs to be taken care of in the right way. Here are some time-tested and effective home remedies for prickly heat.

But before you glance through these tips, you need to understand what exactly prickly heat is and what its triggers are. This information will help you handle the problem better, equipping you with the necessary measures to prevent it.

What Causes Prickly Heat?

While prickly heat is common in summers, they could lift their ugly head in winters too. The excessive sweat clogs the skin pores, which, in turn, trigger these rashes. This happens when your perspiration gets trapped under the skin, instead of evaporating. That is why prickly heat rashes are seen commonly along skin folds, such as neck, waist, armpits, and groin. Researchers have not found the exact reasons behind the clogging of sweat ducts, but there are several contributory factors involved.

Common factors triggering prickly heat (miliaria) could be –

  • Wearing clothes made from synthetic fibers that prevent perspiration from evaporating
  • Intensive exercising or physical activity that involves high levels of sweating
  • Using oil-based cosmetics leading to clogged sweat glands
  • Wearing excessively warm clothes in winter triggering perspiration
  • Certain medications, such as those for ADHD or blood pressure

Babies are extremely prone to prickly heat. The sweat ducts of newborns remain under-developed for quite a long time, and hence are prone to quick blocking. Newborn babies can develop prickly heat if they are placed in incubators or wrapped up too snugly in blankets (1, 2, 3).

Symptoms Of Prickly Heat

Symptoms can include the following –

  • Red rashes or inflamed areas of skin
  • Small blisters
  • Itching and irritation (1, 2)

Sounds rather annoying, doesn’t it? Thankfully, there are numerous home remedies for prickly heat rashes that you can try your hand at. It is advisable to use two or three remedies simultaneously for quicker and more effective healing. Here are the remedies!

Simple Home Remedies For Prickly Heat

  1. Oatmeal Bath
  2. Aloe Vera Gel
  3. Chickpea Flour
  4. Fuller’s Earth
  5. Baking Soda
  6. Raw Potato
  7. Watermelon
  8. Ginger
  9. Ice Cubes
  10. Camphor
  11. Coriander Seeds And Sandalwood Powder
  12. Henna Powder
  13. Lime Juice
  14. Honey
  15. Indian Gooseberries
  16. Cucumber
  17. Papaya
  18. Talcum Powder
  19. Lavender Essential Oil
  20. Neem
  21. Apple Cider Vinegar
  22. Cornstarch
  23. Coconut Oil
  24. Epsom Salt
  25. Greek Yogurt
  26. Olive Oil
  27. Rose Water

Bid Goodbye To Prickly Heat With These Remedies

1. Oatmeal Bath For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1-2 cups oatmeal
  • Lukewarm water
  • A bathtub
What You Have To Do

Run an oatmeal bath and soak yourself in it for 15-20 minutes. You can also use the oatmeal to scrub the affected areas gently.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every 2-3 days.

Why This Works

Oatmeal will help to exfoliate the skin and clear the blocked sweat ducts. This home remedy for prickly heat is excellent for getting relief from the itching and inflammation if any (4).

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2. Aloe Vera Gel For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

An aloe leaf

What You Have To Do
  1. Pluck an aloe leaf and cut it. Squeeze out the natural gel in the leaf into a bowl.
  2. Apply this onto the affected part of the body and massage it in.

If you cannot lay your hands on an aloe plant, use an aloe-rich moisturizing lotion.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once or twice every day until you get relief from prickly heat.

Why This Works

The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of aloe vera gel help reduce various types of skin rashes, including those caused by prickly heat. It will help alleviate the inflammation and also ease the redness. An amazing skin softening and hydrating agent, it also prevents skin from dehydration (5).

[ Read: Benefits Of Aloe Vera For Health ]

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3. Chickpea Flour For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2-3 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • Water or rose water
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a thick paste of chickpea flour using some water.
  2. Apply the paste on to the affected part and let it stand for about 15 minutes.
  3. Use cool water to wash off the paste.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this pack every day.

Why This Works

Also called as gram flour, chickpea flour pack acts a cleanser for the skin. It removes the impurities that are clogging the pores and also exfoliates the dead skin cells (6). This home remedy will provide relief from the itching and prickling sensation.

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4. Fuller’s Earth For Prickly Heat

You Will Need
  • 3-4 tablespoons fuller’s earth (multani mitti)
  • Rose water
What You Have To Do
  1. Take the fuller’s earth and mix it with a few drops of rosewater to make a paste.
  2. Apply the paste on the affected areas and wash off with cold water after about 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this pack every day initially and then every alternate day until the prickly heat is completely gone.

Why This Works

Fuller’s earth or multani mitti has long been used for treating prickly heat. It is excellent in unclogging pores and giving the skin a fresh feeling (7).

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5. Baking Soda For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • A bowl of water
  • Washcloth
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a mild solution of baking soda with some cool water.
  2. Dip a clean, soft, washcloth in the solution and gently rub on the affected portions of the skin to heal prickly heat.
  3. Leave the solution for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1-2 times every day.

Why This Works

The antibacterial properties of baking or cooking soda help in preventing infections at the site, while soothing the skin (8).

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6. Raw Potato For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

1 medium-sized potato

What You Have To Do
  1. Slice up the potato and apply the slices on the affected area.
  2. Leave the slices on for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the area with cool water.

You also can dab the areas with the slices.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every day.

Why This Works

It will ease the itchy and prickly sensation as it is soothing for the skin. It is also an emollient (9).

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7. Watermelon For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Watermelon

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some watermelon, de-seed it and make a pulp.
  2. Apply the pulp on your heat rash for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Wash it off with plain water.

You can also gulp down a glass of crushed watermelon to heal from within by hydrating your skin.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once every day.

Why This Works

The coolness of the fruit soothes and refreshes the irritated skin. Watermelon also contains antioxidants that exert anti-aging effects on the skin (10).

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8. Ginger For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • A small piece of ginger
  • Water
  • Washcloth
What You Have To Do
  1. Grate some fresh ginger root and boil it in water.
  2. Let the water cool and then use a clean, soft washcloth to dab your skin with this solution.
  3. Keep the solution on for 10-12 minutes and then rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You can repeat this up to twice a day.

Why This Works

Ginger has long been used in Asian culture for its medicinal properties. It also can help ease the itching and stinging sensation caused by prickly heat (11).

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9. Ice Cubes For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • A soft towel
What You Have To Do
  1. Place the ice cubes in the towel and gently place this on the affected skin.
  2. Keep it on for as long as you can.

You can also put the ice cubes in some water and let them melt. Use a soft cloth soaked in this chilled water to dab the affected skin.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this as and when you feel irritation and itching.

Why This Works

The coolness of the ice will soothe the skin and alleviate the redness and the irritation (12).

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10. Camphor For Prickly Heat

You Will Need
  • 1 camphor tablet
  • Few drops of neem oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a mallet and crush the camphor into powder.
  2. Mix a little margosa (neem) oil in the powder to make a gooey paste.
  3. Apply the paste on your skin and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every alternate day.

Why This Works

This grandmother’s home remedy for prickly heat is extremely effective in healing a burning sensation and itching. It will feel cool and refreshing when applied to the heat rash (13). Neem being antimicrobial in nature will prevent any infections from developing at the affected site (14).

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11. Coriander Leaves And Sandalwood Powder For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Handful of dried coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sandalwood powder
  • Rose water
What You Have To Do
  1. Grind the dried coriander leaves and mix sandalwood powder with it.
  2. Add rosewater to make a thick paste.
  3. Apply the paste on the affected skin.
  4. Let it stand till the paste dries and then use cool water to rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this paste every day.

Why This Works

Coriander is known for its antiseptic properties, while sandalwood helps to ease the burning and prickling sensation (15, 16).

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12. Henna Powder For Prickly Heat

You Will Need
  • Few teaspoons henna powder
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a thick paste of henna powder using some water.
  2. Apply it on your rash.
  3. Leave it for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

A single application of this remedy will have lasting results.

Why This Works

Used in the Middle East and South East Asian countries for decorating the hands, this herb is known to treat skin ailments. It is a cooling agent and also an astringent while possessing antibacterial properties (17).

Caution

If you do not mind a reddish tinge on your skin, you can use this home remedy for prickly heat rash.

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13. Lime Juice For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • A lime
  • A glass of water
  • Honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze a fresh lime into a glass of water.
  2. You can sweeten it with honey and drink it.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink three to four glasses every day.

Why This Works

The potent antioxidants in lime juice can help hasten the healing process of your heat rashes (18). You will notice prickly heat disappearing in about 14 days.

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14. Honey For Prickly Heat

You Will Need

Raw honey

What You Have To Do
  1. Cleanse the area and apply honey directly on it.
  2. Let the honey stand for about 15 to 20 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 1-2 times every day.

Why This Works

Asian cultures use honey for its antibacterial and humectant properties. It soothes the itchiness and irritation of your prickly heat while nourishing your skin (19).

[ Read: Benefits And Uses Of Honey ]

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15. Indian Gooseberries For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Few Indian gooseberries
  • Water
  • Earthen vessel
What You Have To Do
  1. Halve a few Indian gooseberries and place them in an earthen vessel.
  2. Pour some water over the pieces and cover it. Let it stand overnight.
  3. The following morning, use the same water to mash the gooseberries.
  4. Strain, add honey and drink this.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink this concoction every day for a week to facilitate fast healing.

Why This Works

Indian gooseberry or amla is filled with vitamins and vital nutrients. Eating them will strengthen your immune system to fight the prickly heat (20).

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16. Cucumber For Prickly Heat

You Will Need

1/2 cucumber

What You Have To Do
  1. Peel the cucumber and cut long and thin slices.
  2. Cool these in the fridge for a couple of minutes and then place them on the rashes until they come back to room temperature.
  3. Repeat this if required.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply cucumber slices every day on your prickly heat rashes.

Why This Works

One of the biggest problems with prickly heat is the petrifying burning sensation. You can ease it by applying cucumber on your skin as it instantly soothes the skin and provides a cooling effect (21).

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17. Papaya For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

A piece of ripe papaya

What You Have To Do
  1. Mash the papaya and apply it on your skin.
  2. Let it stay for about 20 to 25 minutes before washing it off with tap water.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every alternate day or as and when required.

Why This Works

The tropical fruit papaya will ease the burning sensation and also provide relief from itching. It unclogs pores and exfoliates the dull and damaged skin cells (22).

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18. Talcum Powder For Prickly Heat

You Will Need

Talcum powder

What You Have To Do

After taking a shower, pat your skin dry and sprinkle some talcum powder on the prickly heat rashes.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every morning and every night.

Why This Works

Good old talcum powder can also be used to hasten the healing process. Opt for a herbal talcum powder. It will help to keep your skin dry in the hot, humid conditions and this, in turn, helps to heal the rashes quickly.

Caution

Be sure not to use scented talcum powder, as it can irritate your skin even further.

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19. Lavender Essential Oil For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 5 drops lavender oil
  • 1 bucket lukewarm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the essential oil to the tepid water and mix well.
  2. Take a bath with this water to ease the heat rashes.

You can even apply lavender oil to affected area or just dip a cloth in cold water containing this essential oil and dab on affected area.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every day until you get relief from the rashes.

Why This Works

Soothing and healing, lavender oil is also rich with antibiotic properties. It will ease the itchiness and irritation while preventing any harmful bacteria from settling in the rashes and causing infection (23).

[ Read: Essential Oils – What Are They And How To Use ]

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20. Neem For Prickly Heat

You Will Need
  • Handful of dried neem leaves
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Crush the neem leaves with some water to make a coarse paste.
  2. Apply it to affected area and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off with cool water.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this once in every two days for quick relief from the rashes.

Why This Works

Neem is well known for its astringent, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties (24). It is one of the most widely used home remedies for various skin disorders that involve itching sensation and infection, including prickly heat.

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21. Apple Cider Vinegar For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Cotton
What You Have To Do
  1. Dilute the ACV with water and soak the cotton ball in this.
  2. Apply this solution using the cotton to the affected area.
  3. Let it dry naturally.
  4. Wash it off after 10 minutes or so.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once every day.

Why This Works

ACV balances the skin’s pH while reducing the itching and irritation with its anti-inflammatory compounds (25).

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22. Cornstarch For Prickly Heat

You Will Need

Cornstarch powder

What You Have To Do

Sprinkle some cornstarch powder on the rashes and leave it on.

How Often You Should Do This

Reapply as and when required during the day.

Why This Works

Like talcum powder, cornstarch absorbs the excess sweat and sebum which prevents the pores from getting clogged and forming more rashes.

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23. Coconut Oil For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Extra virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do

Melt the oil in between your fingers and apply on the rashes directly.

How Often You Should Do This

Apply this every night before going to bed.

Why This Works

Coconut oil is nourishing and hydrating for the skin. It heals the rashes and significantly reduces the itching sensation. It is also antibacterial in nature (26).

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24. Epsom Salt For Prickly Heat

You Will Need
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • A bathtub
  • Warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Draw a warm water bath with Epsom salt.
  2. Soak in this for about 15 minutes.

You can also apply a soft cloth soaked Epsom salt water on the rashes, in case you do not have the facility to draw a bath.

How Often You Should Do This

Soak in Epsom salt water every alternate day.

Why This Works

Epsom salt draws out toxins from the body and also exfoliates dead cells. This unclogs the pores and helps heal the prickly heat rashes (27).

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25. Greek Yogurt For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Plain Greek yogurt

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply cool Greek yogurt directly on the rashes.
  2. Keep the yogurt on for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off with regular water.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once every day.

Why This Works

Yogurt is cooling for the irritated and inflamed skin. It also unclogs the pores and helps to heal the rashes quickly (28).

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26. Olive Oil For Prickly Heat

You Will Need

Extra virgin olive oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a few drops of olive oil and apply on cleansed skin.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this every night before going to bed.

Why This Works

Olive oil is an emollient and a skin conditioner. It soothes the itchiness and also keeps the skin nourished and supple (29).

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27. Rose Water For Prickly Heat

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Rose water
  • Cotton pad
What You Have To Do

Dab some cool rose water onto a cotton pad and apply on the rashes.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 2-3 times in a day.

Why This Works

Rose water is an astringent that soothes and refreshes the skin (30).

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Apart from using these remedies, natural practitioners suggest drinking a lot of fluids when you are suffering from prickly heat. You can drink plain water and/or fresh fruit and vegetable juices to keep your skin healthy and hydrated when you are suffering from prickly heat. This will help your skin heal quicker. Avoid adding sugar to the homemade juices. Sucking on watermelon and musk melon pieces can also help you beat prickly heat.

While heat and humidity are the main culprits for prickly heat, certain foods can also aggravate this condition. Red wine, coffee, and spicy foods, when consumed in excessive amounts, could worsen the symptoms. Hence, it is advisable to restrict the quantity, or the best to avoid these foods while you have the rash. Find below some more tips to prevent prickly heat.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How To Prevent Prickly Heat?

Prevention is certainly better than cure for prickly heat. While there is no dearth of natural remedies for prickly heat, preventing its occurrence is ideal. Here is how you can thwart off the itchy rashes:

  • Choose to wear light and comfortable cotton clothing during the scorching summers.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothing, as it prevents air circulation.
  • When it is too hot, cool off your body by taking a shower or staying indoors under a fan or in an air-conditioned room.
  • Do not use harsh soaps and moisturizers during the hot season.
  • Avoid slathering on creams and lotions during summers, as they can block your pores and cause prickly heat
  • Wear loose clothing while sleeping and ensure your bedroom is well-ventilated.
  • During the hot months, always bathe in cool water and wash well to remove all traces of perspiration, especially from the folds of the skin.
  • After working out, take a shower to get rid of the perspiration.

Can Prickly Heat Be Painful?

Under normal circumstances, prickly heat is not painful. It is an annoying rash that tends to cause a lot of itching along with stinging or prickling sensation. The itching can result in secondary infection. It is not life-threatening, but at times the blisters can be tender to touch.

How Long Does Prickly Heat Rash Last?

Under most mild and moderate cases of prickly heat, the rashes last up to 4-7 days.

Does Prickly Heat Itch?

Yes! Itching is one of the main symptoms of prickly heat.

Can Heat Rash Spread To Other Parts Of Body?

Yes, heat rash can quickly spread to other regions if not taken care of with home remedies or other solutions.

Prickly heat is, unarguably, an annoying skin rash. That is why you should be looking at home remedies in this article to provide you relief and speed up the healing process. Use these simple, easy-to-use home remedies for prickly heat to your advantage and enjoy quick relief from itching and that burning sensation.

In case you notice a secondary infection, or you experience pain and swelling, consult a doctor. An infection should never be ignored, especially if you have painful and swollen lymph nodes.

Hope you found this article helpful. Do share your views with us in the comments section below.

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