Miliaria is a skin condition, marked by predominant heat rashes and signs of prickly heat. These rashes are characteristically small and itchy. This condition is commonly observed in hot and humid regions, especially in months of summer in tropical areas. Although Miliaria is seen in both adults as well as children, it is more widespread among children.
This condition has various types and most of them are self-curable and do not require any special treatment. It can cause great discomfort to the patient if measures to create an artificial cool environment are not taken.
Here is all you need to know about Miliaria:
Symptoms include occurrence of small red rashes on the sufferer’s body; these rashes are itchy and can cause enormous discomfort. They can occur anywhere on the skin but are most commonly observed on the following areas – chest, neck, elbow creases, back, stomach, etc. This could be accompanied by another condition called folliculitis, wherein the hair follicles become plugged with foreign matter that causes infection and leads to inflammation.
Miliaria ought not to be confused with a similar condition called – shingles. The symptoms are same albeit the fact that the rashes are restricted to one side of the body and immediate medical attention is required in case of the latter as it is a viral infection.
Miliaria is mainly caused due to the blockage of sweat ducts. Sweat glands give out sweat which comes to the surface and blocks the pores, this leads to inflammation and formation of rashes. The fact that it is more common among children than in adults is because the sweat glands of babies and children are immature and are hence more prone to any form of blockage.
Miliaria can be of several types – Miliaria crystallina, Miliaria rubra, etc. If you are curious to know about which type of condition your little one is facing, you can ask your doctor about the same.
This condition is majorly caused by prickly heat and can be avoided by taking measures to keep one’s body cool in hot and humid weather. Avoid activities that induce sweating and use air conditioning to keep the environment cool. Wear light colors and take frequent showers with cold water accompanied with a mild soap that is not too harsh on your skin.
The primary treatment for Miliaria involves wearing light clothing, being in cooler temperature and using calamine lotions that would soothe your skin and keep the itching in check. Parents of children suffering from this condition ought to seek immediate medical attention as one cannot be sure as to the type if miliaria that the sufferer has been affected with.
You need to understand that miliaria is not an infection, it is simply a skin condition caused due to the body’s intolerance towards excessive heat and humidity. Use antibacterial soap to prevent any infections.
Some moisturizers have properties that help in opening the blocked sweat ducts, you could use these too. Steroid creams help soothe irritation and help in reducing inflammation. In spite of all precautions, if you feel unwell, seek medical help.