It isn’t only those of us who get burnt in the sun who struggle with the heat in summer.
Whether you’re on holiday or enjoying the occasional sunny day at home, our skin can suffer to UV exposure in more ways than simply burning. Prickly heat and heat rash, caused by exposure to the sun and overheating, are other common consequences of too much time spent in the sun. Most commonly affecting those with fair, sensitive skin types, prickly heat and heat rash can be uncomfortable and irritating, particularly in the summer heat.
What is prickly heat?
Heat rash and prickly heat can appear as a red rash or as small red bumps on the surface of your skin. Usually very sore and itchy, they can cause further irritation to your skin, causing you to scratch and damage the healing surface of your skin which begins a viscious cycle.
Known to some as Miliaria, heat rash and prickly heat occurs when the sweat ducts are obstructed or blocked. As sweat leaks into the skin, small bumps or rashes form as the skin gets inflamed around the leak. The small bumps, known as Papules, become red, sore and often very itchy.
Although some of us are more prone to prickly heat than others, we are all susceptible to being affected by heat rash. Even if you have never been negatively affected by the sun before, not protecting or caring for your skin appropriately when exposed to UV rays can leave you vulnerable to prickly heat.
In some cases, bacteria can form on the skin and cause even more irritation particularly in the folds of your skin such as behind your knees or in the crook of your arm. When prickly heat occurs in these areas, it can be extremely uncomfortable and irritating as the skin is constantly hot and producing sweat.
How to prevent prickly heat
As sweating, which causes prickly heat and heat rash, is your body’s natural reaction to heat, it is very difficult to avoid both completely. Aside from keeping out of the sun and wearing cool, loose and breathable clothing, there is little you can do to minimise your chances of prickly heat.
As keeping cool is one of the only ways you can avoid reaction to the sun, using a cooling, mineral spray on your skin whilst you’re on holiday can help to keep you skin fresh and hydrated throughout the day.
Both the Vichy Mineralizing Water and the Avène Thermal Water work to cool and soothe the skin, using Thermal Spring Water to calm any irritation and bring relief to hot, irritated skin. By spritzing a mist over your body particularly on problem areas such as behind your knees when warm, you will help to minimise the appearance of bumps and rashes.