WITH sunny days ahead, it is important to look after yourself and your children in the heat.
The heatwave means you and your family could risk developing heat rashes – here's all you need to know about the painful condition and what to look out for.
What is prickly heat?
Prickly heat is an itchy heat rash which makes your skin feel like it's stinging or prickling.
Also known as miliaria rubra, the condition can develop anywhere on the body – but it tends to crop up on your face, neck, back, chest or thighs.
The rash usually develops in people who are sweating more than usual, which can cause pores to become blocked.
With your pores blocked, sweat can build up under your skin, which causes irritation and the rash.
Having other illnesses, wearing too many layers and being overweight all increase your chances of getting prickly heat, although it's most common in babies and children.
What are the symptoms of a heat rash?
The rash is made up of tiny spots or bumps – which look like blisters – surrounded by an area of red skin.
Mild swelling, itching and an intense prickling or stinging sensation are all symptoms of prickly heat.
Are there any treatments for a heat rash?
The NHS says that prickly heat isn't a serious condition and that the rash usually disappears after a few days on its own.
However, if you're struggling, there are things you can do to ease the symptoms.
Keeping cool and away from the sun should stop your rash getting any worse.
Wearing loose, cotton clothing and drinking plenty of water should also help you to keep cool and hydrated.
Otherwise, you can soothe your skin by taking a cold shower or using calamine lotion from your local pharmacy.
If the rash isn't going away then you should see your GP, who may be able to suggest other treatments.
What should you do if your child has prickly heat?
Prickly heat is very common in babies and doesn't cause any serious harm.
Babies and children are so prone to prickly heat because their sweat glands aren't fully developed.
Although rashes in babies and children usually clear up on their own, you should contact NHS 111 or see your GP if you're concerned about your child's health.
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