Heat rash or prickly heat is such an annoyance – that red or pinkish rash occurring on areas of skin beneath clothing really slows down enjoyment of the sun let alone gardening activity. It generally develops on hot days when the sweat ducts become blocked and so swell and react in rash form. The rash is discomforting and often itchy or prickly. Quickly remedied by removing clothing and allowing the skin to air-dry. No – that’s not a line!!
More persistent rashing is traditionally treated with calamine lotion or a topical NSAID (non-steriodal anti-inflammatory) but you can alternately take a lukewarm (or cooler) bath with some baking soda & oatmeal added to alleviate the itch… Or make a dusting powder of equal parts baking soda & cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb the skin moisture causing the heat rash and balance the body’s natural pH and dissuade further reactions.
Heat rash indicates that it’s time to halt the gardening activities for the day and retire to the cool before further complications such as heat cramps or heat exhaustion being to blip the edge of the radar.
Heat rash can go as quick as it came or take several days to resolve. For more obstinate heat rashes a twice daily spritz of dilute vinegar acts as skin friendly NSAID.
Vinegar (acidic) and baking soda (alkaline) cancel each other out so don’t try and combine all treatments in one go.
Prickly heat vinegar spritz
The acetic acid in vinegar is principally a non-steriodal anti-inflammatory. White, malt and apple cider vinegar all have the same active principle so whatever is to hand in the larder.
How to: simply dilute 50/50 some vinegar and water and decant into a bottle sprayer. Spritz the area twice daily. Some people experience a slight sting upon contact but it soon dissipates and takes the itch with it.
Add some foliage of rosemary or lavender for extra cooling and further addressing of agitated skin (and to not smell like you are moonlighting in the local chipper), shake well before use. Will store in fridge (extra bonus of the chill factor) for up to two weeks.