Prickly heat rash, otherwise known as miliaria, is a nasty rash caused when a person sweats more than usual and sweat glands become blocked. Importantly, it is also vital to remember if you are travelling with a child, that babies and young children can be particularly affected by prickly heat rash during hot or humid weather because their sweat glands are not fully developed. This condition can cause great discomfort, especially as it can make the skin itchy, and cause prickling or stinging sensations, accompanied by raised red spots.
Luckily, prickly heat commonly clears up on its own within a few days, though in serious cases the condition can interfere with the body’s heat-regulating mechanism and cause heat exhaustion. This is a medical emergency, usually signalled by a headache, dizziness, hot and dry skin, nausea and vomiting, a rapid heartbeat and shallow breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms seek immediate medical advice. However, if your skin displays the signs of heat rash and doesn’t appear to be clearing up, avoid excessive heat and take cool showers or bath, and ensure you seek medical advice.
Other common skin conditions can usually be identified by a change in skin colour or texture, and may be caused by a virus or skin irritation such as an allergic reaction, eczema, or a sting from a plant. Eczema is a general term that describes multiple conditions in which skin can be inflamed, red, dry, and itchy. It is a common condition which can usually be treated with antiviral medication. Similarly, granuloma annulare is a chronic skin condition that consists of a circular-shaped rash with reddish bumps that can be itchy. While there I no known cure, if you appear to have the symptoms of this condition it is best to seek medical advice as it will be diagnosed by a doctor by examining the rash. Steroid creams, ointments or injections may help with troublesome areas, while PUVA light therapy can help with widespread patches.
Other common rashes include lichen planus and pityriasis rosea. While the first manifests itself in the form of shiny, flat-topped bumps, the other creates large, scaly pink patches of skin. Although lichen planus cannot be cured, its skin symptoms can be soother with anti-itching treatments such as antihistamines, as is the case with pityriasis rosea.
It is important to remember that while most rashes are benign and simply irritating, some can be a sign of a serious or even life-threatening condition. Therefore, if you have concerns, seek medical advice. If you are worried by an annoying skin condition while travelling abroad, or are worried that a rash may be a signal of something more serious, you can always rely on TripMedic to arrange a consultation with a medical practitioner in your language.