Do you really have heat rash… or is it a sign of something more serious?
BRITS are set to bake this weekend as temperatures continue to soar across the country.
Some parts of the UK are expected to reach 38C tomorrow with many Brits flocking to the beach to experience a sea breeze.
As it gets hotter it's more likely that we will develop some sort of summer-based ailment.
Whether it's sunburn or a bite from a nasty insect, the warm weather brings a whole host of problems including heat rash.
Heat rashes or prickly heat, is caused from excessive sweating and as temperatures creep up it's likely that most of us will be sweating more.
The NHS says that while heat rash can be uncomfortable, it's usually harmless and will go away in a few days.
If you have a heat rash then you'll usually have symptoms such as small red spots, mild swelling and an itchy prickly feeling.
But if the rash won't budge, it might be the case that you are suffering from something more severe.
If you've been exercising more than usual or taking part in sporting challenges then you may be experiencing jock itch.
It's called this as it's a common illness that athletes develop and is triggered by sitting around in sweaty clothing.
Jock itch is an infection in the groin or armpit area and wearing tight clothing can make it worse.
It can trigger a pink or red itchy rash.
The infection is caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes that normally live problem-free on the skin.
It can be prevented by washing daily with soap and water and changing out of damp or sweaty clothes soon after a work out.
To treat it you can use over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments such has powders and sprays.
In the summer months people who usually experience mild eczema are likely to have flare ups.
Pollen, sweat and suncream can all trigger symptoms.
Speaking to The Telegraph Pharmacist Kate Taylor, of LloydsPharmacy said you should work out what triggers your eczema and try to counter act the symptoms.
"Swimming pools with high levels of chlorine can irritate sensitive skin.
“Be sure to shower and dry off as soon as possible after a dip, paying particular attention to folds of skin such as the inner elbows, and apply your usual eczema cream to help avoid irritation and lock-in essential moisture.
“You may also find that you need to apply cream more often during the day to provide a barrier against the elements.”
She said you should also use deodorants made specifically for people with sensitive skin.
Polymorphic light eruption
It is thought that around one in ten adults in the UK have this condition which is caused when you are exposed to the sun or to ultra violet (UV) light.
It causes red bumpy spots and can often be confused for heat rash or blisters.
The rash is inflammatory and is usually seen on the chest, legs and arms – but is not common on the face.
If you suffer from this then you should avoid the sun and wear loose clothing.
Experts also recommend that you wear SPF 30 to stay protected.
How to cope in a heatwave
As temperatures soar this weekend it's important to be prepared.
Phil Day, superintendent pharmacist at Pharmacy2U said: "With heatwaves becoming more frequent during UK summers, it’s important to remember how the heat can affect our health.
"For the chronically unwell, elderly, or very young, extreme heat can pose significant health risks."
He explained some common symptoms people might be feeling in the summer sun.
- Heat exhaustion is when the body starts to lose too much water and salt through sweating. This may lead to feelings of lethargy, increased thirst, and headache.
- Heatstroke is more serious and is where the body is no longer able to cool itself and the body’s temperature becomes dangerously high.
- Sunstroke is when this is caused by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. This can be life threatening but is rare.
He added: "To avoid overheating, consume cold drinks regularly, ideally water, and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol as these can further dehydrate the body.
"Regular cool baths or showers, or splashing your face with cold water, are other useful ways of keeping cool."
Sweat rash is more common in people who are overweight as the sweat tends to gather in creases and folds.
It is an angry red rash which can be seen on the skin's surface.
You should shower daily with a non perfumed body wash and should try and keep cool in warm weather.
The NHS recommends that you don't wear tight clothing and that you use a skin barrier cream.
It's important to not scratch the rash as this may lead to further infections.
Chaffing can also occur from sweat rash and there are various products that have been designed specifically to combat this.
If you need to wear tight clothing for exercise then you can use products such as Smooval that can be used while running, walking and cycling.
BeYou also offers an anti-chafing cream which when applied helps to combat bacteria that may build up.
Cercarial dermatitis also known as swimmer's itch, is an allergic reaction to parasites.
If you've been swimming in lakes, rivers or the sea then these parasites may have burrowed in your skin, causing a red itchy rash and even blisters in some cases.
Usually you will experience a tingling immediately after swimming and in 12 hours this will turn into small red pimples.
One per cent hydrocortisone cream is sold over the counter and will help get rid of the rash.
Most rashes will clear up within a week but if it becomes uncomfortable you can always use a cold compress.
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