Prickly heat is an itchy rash of small, raised red spots that cause stinging or a prickling sensation on the skin caused by excessive perspiration, usually in a hot, humid environment.
However, as this usually happens only when it is hotter, people often assume they must be allergic to the sun. Therefore, many people suffer unnecessarily because of this misconception.
Prickly heat is due to blockage of sweat ducts. You have thousands of sweat glands that lie just under the skin surface. These glands make sweat which travels down the sweat duct to the skin surface. If the sweat gland is blocked, the sweat seeps into the nearby skin. This causes tiny pockets of inflammation which cause the rash.
Anything that blocks the sweat ducts can also cause prickly heat. For example, if you place polythene tightly on your skin for 3-4 days, you are likely to develop a rash on the covered skin. And, of course, some sunscreens.
Chemical laden sunscreens block pores, trapping heat and sweat in the skin causing the characteristic bumps, whereas 100% natural and organic sun lotions allow the skin to breathe, stop overheating and alleviate symptoms.
Prickly Heat can take a few days to manifest so especially if you know that you normally suffer from this, ensure you use natural lotions all the time. It is best to avoid chemical cosmetics including lotions, shampoos, conditioners, spray deodorants on the skin.
Look at the ingredients
If you do have prickly heat, it is best to stay out of the sun and stop using any of the above typical chemical products on the skin. You may need something to help with the desire to scratch. Again, this should be 100% natural.
Always look at the back of any bottle. If the first ingredient is natural, and not water-based with a long list of chemicals, then that is a good place to start.
Once you have fully recovered, it is safe to go back to the sun again, but remember if you put the same lotions on that caused it in the first place, the cycle will continue.