Miliaria ("heat rash" or "prickly heat") is an acute itching eruption of the skin that commonly occurs in hot summer weather and in tropical and subtropical areas.

The condition results from excessive sweating and blocked sweat glands. Prolonged exposure to heat and moisture causes the skin to swell enough to block the openings of the sweat glands. Newly produced sweat is then deposited in the skin and not on it; this results in local irritation and in the formation of minute blisters. Pimples may develop as well as itch due to inflammation, and the involved area may become infected. Sites that tend to be involved are the chest, back, waistline, groin, and armpits. The best treatment involves moving the person to a cooler, less humid atmosphere. Lotions, cold compresses, and cool showers or tub soaks also may help. Anything that causes irritation---such as unsuitable clothing, medications, or harsh soaps---should be avoided.

If fungal infections develop in the affected areas, they require separate treatment with anti-fungal ointments or other preparations. In cases of severe itching, antihistamines may be given.

Mil`i*a"ri*a (?), n. [NL. See Miliary.] Med.

A fever accompanied by an eruption of small, isolated, red pimples, resembling a millet seed in form or size; miliary fever.

 

© Webster 1913.

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