Prickly heat, also known as miliaria, is an itchy rash of small, raised red spots that causes a stinging or prickling sensation on the skin.
The rash can develop anywhere on the body, but it most commonly occurs on your face, neck, back, chest and thighs.
The rash is made up of tiny spots or bumps that are surrounded by an area of red skin. The spots sometimes look like tiny blisters. They can cause mild swelling, itching and a stinging or intense prickling sensation.
Read more about the symptoms of prickly heat.
What causes prickly heat?
Prickly heat usually develops when a person sweats more than usual, such as during hot or humid weather. However, it is also possible to get prickly heat in the winter.
The condition is caused when the body's sweat glands become blocked. Excessive sweating can result in sweat becoming trapped beneath your skin. The trapped sweat causes skin irritation and the characteristic heat rash.
Read more about the causes of prickly heat.
Treating prickly heat
Prickly heat does not require any specific treatment and the rash usually disappears after a few days.
Avoiding the heat by staying in the shade and wearing loose cotton clothing will help ease your symptoms.
Applying calamine lotion will soothe the affected area of skin. You can also use hydrocortisone cream if your skin is particularly sore and itchy.
Read more about treating prickly heat.
Who gets prickly heat?
Anyone can get prickly heat but people who are overweight or obese are more likely to be affected. This is because they tend to sweat more than people who are slimmer.
Babies and children are also more at risk of getting prickly heat because their sweat glands are not fully developed.