If you have sensitive skin and you experience increased exposure to the sun, there are high chances that the heatwave can lead to heat rash. Among the many home remedies that people may recommend to treat a heat rash is the use of coconut oil. Let’s find out if coconut oil can be used during summer to deal with this skin problem.
Health Shots reached out to Dr Navya P, Consultant Dermatologist, Manipal Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, Bengaluru, to know natural ways to get rid of a heat rash.
What is heat rash?
Tiny red bumps pop up on the skin after exposure to warm or hot temperatures. That’s heat rash, which is also known as prickly heat. Dr Navya says it is a harmless condition caused due to blockage of sweat ducts, trapping the sweat underneath. It is usually itchy or you may even have a stinging sensation.
Coconut oil for heat rash
We know that coconut oil helps in moisturising the skin and keeping it supple. The expert says coconut oil soothes the skin and reduces the inflammation seen during heat rash. So, coconut oil helps to a certain extent.
But she advises to apply only a thin layer of coconut oil to the heat rash-affected areas. It is best to avoid the face as the oil can block the sweat and oil ducts, leading to breakouts. So, you have to be cautious if you have acne-prone skin, especially in summer when sweat and oil production shoots up.
When it comes to treating heat rash with coconut oil for babies, the expert says avoid it. Stick to the application of calamine lotion and preferably, cold compresses for your little.
Tips to treat heat rash
Treating heat rash is all about cooling down the skin. So, use a cloth dipped in cold water and place it over the heat rash areas for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this after every 3 to 4 hours. Here are some other ways to deal with this skin problem.
1. Apply calamine lotion
When calamine lotion is applied on the skin, it absorbs heat, which in turn cools the area. You can dab some calamine lotion onto your rash using cotton. This provides soothing and an anti-itch effect. Calamine has a number of benefits for the skin, partly because it contains zinc oxide. It is a topical skin product that is used as a protective coating for skin irritations that are mild, says Dr Navya.
2. Use aloe vera
It is a home remedy which helps in relieving the prickly sensation felt during heat rash. It is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic in nature, making it a good skin coolant. Aloe vera can also help soothe swelling and pain. Also, its antimicrobial properties may help to protect against infection. You can use aloe vera gel on the area that’s affected then you’ll get some relief.
3. Go for turmeric and sandalwood
Natural ingredients such as turmeric and sandalwood can also be used to get rid of heat rash. They have anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the redness and itchiness. You can mix these ingredients with water to form a paste and apply on the affected areas. But first, test the paste on a small patch of skin before applying. After all, you don’t want to end up with allergic reactions while trying out home remedies.
Taking a cooling bath also helps to soothe itchy skin during summer. Fans and air conditioners help to lower the body temperature and so, aids the body to stay cool. You should also wear breathable cotton clothes.
If your heat rash does not settle down even after trying out these tips, go to a doctor. Your dermatologist may prescribe topical or oral steroid to reduce the inflammation.