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.
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.