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Avoiding Prickly Heat

Minneapolis...
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Avoiding Prickly Heat

In my last several trips to Jamaica, I develop this rather unsightly rash on my elbows, knees, and the tops of my feet.

I call it prickly heat or heat rash. I've also had it in Mexico and Hawaii so it must be related to sun, saltwater, sunscreen or some combination thereof. I spent a lot of time on my honeymoon in a bathtub with chamomile teabags.

I'm hoping to turn over a new leaf with our trip to Negril in March.

Any suggestions on how to avoid this? Do certain products help? Lotions, suncsreens, etc.? What about tanning beforehand? Medicine?

The rash isn't horribly itchy but it's highly unattractive.

I usually bring Aveeno Oatmeal bath with me to help at night but it only helps a little.

Any help??

Cherry Hill, NJ
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1. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

Are you using a paba-free sunscreen?

Or taking medications that are light-reactive/make your skin more light reactive?

I've heard of prickly heat, but I thought it usually affected other parts of the body.

One suggestion would be to rinse off thoroughly after getting out of the saltwater just to rinse it off and see if that helps.

Good luck.

switzerland
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2. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

have you tried prickly powder? it's a kind of talcum with soothing ingredients, i'm sure you can get it in jamaica (i bought one in the grenadines). you put it on those areas after showering.

you could also try homeopathic globuli (in english?) against sun rash, those really helped my son.

boston, ma
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3. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

prickly heat is typically the result of obstructed sweat glands and often occurs when transitioning from once extreme climate to another. give your body a few days to get used to the high heat and humidity...

here's some general tips on pricklly heat prevention..

AVOID exposure to heavy sunlight.

TAKE frequent showers or sponge baths during inclimate weather.

DECREASE activity during humid, warm weather.

DON'T wear tight clothing. allow the skin to breathe.

APPLY moisturizing or lubricating ointments to the skin daily.

USE powders containing cornstarch, which will help to absorb perspiration.

TAKE multi-vitamin supplements daily to keep the immune system functioning and bacteria at bay.

to make things more comfortable, benadryl can control itch as can topicals like cortisone.

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

I can empathize with you on this one. However I don't usually get it out in the sun, I usually get it tanning before my trip! (So I don't know if tanning is such a good idea). I get it on all my pressure points when I lie on the tanning bed (elbows, shoulder blades, bum, heel of ankle). I absolutely hate it and, it gets the most itchy in the middle of the night.

I only get this in the winter when tanning, so I would have to agree that it has to do with the severe climate change. But, I also believe it has to do with the sweat glands because, my pressure points can't breath when I am lieing very still on a solid plastic bed.

I would also like some pointers on this, because all I could think to do right now is just apply an anti-itch cream.

Cherry Hill, NJ
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5. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

tanx vixen,

Does your tanning bed have a fan at either end? When I do the laydown beds (vs. stand up) I go to a place that uses fans and then occasionally lift up my shoulders, elbows, butt and calves to dry the pools of sweat (gross I know), but it works for me.

Calgary, Canada
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6. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

Yes they have fans. If I knew before that it was my sweat glands that were causing this, I would have thought about that a long time ago. I will take your advice and try that next time... Thanks!

boston, ma
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7. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

i bet something like a spa appointment with a coffee scrub, salt scrub or some other pore-opening, gentle-scrubbing therapy would also help keep the sweat-glands cleared and working as designed or get them cleared initially when you arrive at your hotel.

wife has had the coffee scrub at rockhouse's spa and said it was almost a religious experience and left her skin feeling unbelieveable - soft and silky and resilient.

Minneapolis...
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8. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

These are excellent suggestions. I saw one mention on here for Globuli as a homeopathic treatment. Anyone know what that is?

I think I'll head to my local herbalist and see if she has some suggestions.

Maple Shade, New...
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9. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

My son gets it whether in Jamaica, Florida or home in the summer. I have taken many percautions to avoid it but it always pricks itself to the surface. He doesn't seem to be irritated by it but it does look terrible and I think I get more upset over it than anyone else. He gets it on his shoulders and back sometimes around his hairline. I usually bring Aveeno lotions with me to help him at night but during the day I make every effort to not clog the sweat glands more than they already are. As a previous poster states that is what caused the bumps which could be tens, hundreds or more. However, I do not and will not skimp on the sunblock. Every chance I get I will get him all cleaned up in the tub and put powder with cornstarch on him to help them dry out.

Everyone who will be at Starfish in Feb don't be alarmed to see my little guy walking around with powder all over himself.

I don't know what the real answer is to prevent them except stay out of the sun but who wants to do that when on vacation. I get sun poison on my wrists every time I'm in the sun couldn't figure out how to prevent it, went to the dermatologist and was told my b/c was causing it when in the sun.

Pennsylvania
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10. Re: Avoiding Prickly Heat

Hi, I'm at work, so not much time to write, but I get this same thing quite often. Google "polymophic light eruption" or "PLE" and you'll find lots more about this condition.