Continuing Margaret's articles on summer skincare for sensitive skin (see Margaret's previous blog on sunburn), this post covers Heat Rash and Prickly Heat, as well as PMLE and sensitive skin problems like eczema that are often worsened by summer heat.
Heat Rash and Prickly Heat: A common summer ailment, prickly heat is typically small, itchy red bumps which develop in the folds of the skin and anywhere sweating occurs. Babies, small children and pregnant women in particular are prone to prickly heat rash, but in really hot conditions even those with 'normal' skin can suffer.
Keeping cool is the key: wear loose fitting, light clothing, preferably in natural fibres like cotton and linen, sleep under a lightweight quilt or light bed sheets and stay in the shade when possible. Shower or bathe in cool water, adding a strong infusion from a couple of chamomile tea bags. This is especially soothing for babies and small children before bedtime. Cold compresses can also help as well as applying a calming light lotion like Essential Care Organic Repair Lotion.
Sun sensitivities like Polymorphous Light Eruption (PMLE), as well as eczema-prone skin can make the summer a very challenging time. PMLE is a severe sensitivity to UV light, meaning most sufferers tend to get one or two attacks early in the spring/summer when winter skin is exposed to light. The up and down nature of the British summer, or sudden exposure to heat in a hot holiday destination can often be a trigger. PMLE results in itchy red patches on the arms, face, chest, neck and thighs.
Eczema, usually characterised by itchy, dry and or weepy skin, is usually exacerbated by heat, sun, sweat and more frequent exposure to chlorine and other unaccustomed chemicals like fragrances in bedlinen and toiletries.
To help calm both conditions, again, cover up, try and keep cool and avoid contact with irritant chemicals where possible. This is particularly the case on holiday where washing powders and fragrances might not be what you would normally have at home. If you do have flare-up, Organic Repair Lotion can help soothe and calm. Apply little and often.