The hot summer days are here and are you worried about getting those pricking heat rashes again? You should be, particularly if you are pregnant. Prickly heat is a common summer time skin problem that is caused due to blockage of the sweat glands by excess sweat, oil and debris.
During pregnancy, the skin of the expecting mother becomes extremely sensitive and due to the changing levels of hormones in the body the chance of getting summer prickly heat rashes increased many folds.
Best precautions for pregnant women
Even if you do not get prickly heat rashes commonly during the summer, you are more likely to develop them during pregnancy. Prickly heat rashes are irritating and they cause a lot of discomfort. However, if you take the proper precautions right from the time the temperature starts to soar, you might be successful to save yourself from this annoying skin problem, particularly when you are already down with thousand and one other health problems cropping up during pregnancy.
Here is a list of the best precautions that expecting mothers can take during summer to prevent prickly itch. Always keep in mind, during pregnancy you should not take any over the counter medication or even topical ointments without consulting your gynecologist. However, the precautions mentioned here are completely natural and safe to follow even during advance pregnancy.
Wear loose fitting cotton clothes
As soon as there is a rise in temperature in your area, it is best that you change your clothing pattern. Instead of tight fitting clothes opt for the loose fitting and yet body covering ones. Loose fitting clothes are not only more comfortable they also let air pass through, which helps in keeping the skin dry. Say bye to your synthetic garments and shift to fully cotton clothes that are light in weight and comes in pastel shades.
Cotton clothes are the best to beat the summer heat and to reduce the problem of sweat. They absorb sweat and let air pass through easily. Cotton is also friendly for the skin and it does not cause any added skin irritation. Wearing body covering and loose fitting cotton clothes can even help to protect your skin from the external heat during summer.
Change your clothes frequently
Wearing loose fitting cotton clothes can certainly be one of the most effective precautions from prickly itch during summer but if the temperature and humidity in your area is too high then you might sweat and get soaked even in loose fitting cotton clothes. As soon as your clothes become damp, make it a point to change them. This will make sure that your skin stays dry reducing the chance of appearance of heat rashes.
Do not use heavy bedding
Sleeping on warm bedding or covering your body with a quilt when the temperature outside is soaring up is a common cause of prickly heat rashes. You might not notice the sweat while you are sleeping but as soon as you wake up you are most expected to see the effects on your skin. So, do not sleep on a bed or in a way that might cause you to sweat while sleeping.
Take frequent bath
Bathing is a natural process to lower body heat. Bathing frequently can be most helpful not only to get rid of the excess sweat but also to reduce body temperature. You can also add a handful of oatmeal or essential oil enriched bathing salt in your bathing water to get the best results. These ingredients will enhance the cooling and calming effect of water and will also help in keeping your skin healthy.
Stay in a well aerated and cool place
Staying in a room that is well aerated and cool can be very helpful for the pregnant women to avoid skin problems like prickly heat rashes during summer. Staying in air conditioned rooms throughout during the summer is certainly a sure shot way to prevent prickly heat during pregnancy.
Eat a body cooling diet
Your diet has a significant impact on the amount of heat produced by your body. So, choose your food wisely and opt for the items that are known for cooling the body from inside. Vegetables like bottle gourd, ridge gourd, radish and fruits like watermelon, cucumber and pineapple can be most helpful to reduce body heat significantly during summer.
Sour curd, cold milk and milkshakes are the other items that you should include in significant amount in your diet as soon as the temperature starts to soar. Also bank on fruit juices and do not forget to drink sufficient amount of water at frequent intervals to stay cool from inside.
While including the above items in your daily diet can be helpful to control body heat and prevent prickly heat rash breakout, you also need to discard the foods that are known for generating more heat in the body to make sure that you stay cool from inside. You should stay away from meat, ginger, garlic and other foods that are related to increasing body temperature.
Home treatments for staying away from summer prickly heat during pregnancy
Maintaining the above precautions can lower your chance of getting the summer prickly heat rashes even during pregnancy, considerably. However, as your skin is more prone to getting problems and infections during this stage you should also follow at least one of the below mentioned treatments to ensure that you do not get the heat rashes at all.
You should apply these home remedies onto the areas of the body that are prone to more sweat and sweat accumulation. If you used to get prickly heat rashes before in some particular areas of the body, then do not forget to apply these treatments on those areas particularly. Back, chest, neck, under the bust and below the belly button are some of the areas prone to sweat accumulation. So, use these treatments as a precaution on these areas of the body.
If you want your skin to heal quickly then lime juice is of great help. You should drink 3 to 4 glasses of lime juice along with water, salt and sugar to taste for a speedy recovery.
Chickpea Flour has antibacterial properties which is good for the skin and to get rid of hot rashes. Make a paste out of it by adding water, apply it on the affected areas and rinse it off with cold water after 15-20 minutes.
Oatmeal pack ideal precaution for prickly heat
Oatmeal has skin cooling abilities and due to its mild exfoliating properties, it helps in clearing out any debris and excess oil that might cause blockage of the sweat gland thus reducing the chance of getting prickly heat. You can prepare an oatmeal pack by simply mixing sufficient oatmeal with water. Apply this pack lavishly onto the areas that are prone to more sweating at least 30 minutes before taking a bath. You can take this treatment on alternate days as a precaution and use oatmeal in your bathing water on the days in between.
Sandalwood pack safest precaution for prickly itch during pregnancy
Sandalwood has natural skin cooling and healing properties. Sandalwood oil can also be very beneficial to calm the mind. Pregnant women can easily use sandalwood pack on their body during summer days to reduce the risk of prickly itch rashes. Prepare a fresh paste of sandalwood and apply it to the sweat prone areas of the body. Wait for the pack to get dry completely and then wash off with water. You can also dust pure sandalwood powder on the sweat prone areas of the body to control excess sweat.
Mint leaves to stay away from prickly heat during pregnancy
Mint is known for its cooling properties and it can be used as an effective precaution from prickly heat. Prepare a paste of fresh mint leaves by smashing them and apply it onto the body. Wait for 20-30 minutes and then take a bath. You can also soak a handful of mint leaves in your bathtub and soak yourself in the water for 15 minutes to get the benefits.
Fuller’s earth helps to prevent prickly heat during pregnancy
Fuller’s earth is the other easily available and cheap ingredient that can be highly effective to keep pregnant women safe from prickly heat rashes even during extreme winter. Fuller’s earth is a natural clay with skin soothing and nourishing properties. To use it on your body all you need to do is to soak it in sufficient water and wait till it gets soft. You can apply a fuller’s earth pack on your body and wait for the pack to get 80% dry before taking a bath.
Lavish prickly heat precaution during pregnancy – Aloe Vera and Mint
You can easily prepare a lavish and effective treatment at home to stay away from the problem of prickly heat during pregnancy with Aloe Vera and Mint. Boil a handful of mint leaves in 2 cups of water until the water becomes half. Now strain the leaves and store the concoction in a cooler. Collect fresh Aloe Vera pulp from Aloe Vera leaves and smash it in a grinder with the mint leaf concoction. Apply the resulting gel onto your body and leave on. This treatment will keep your skin cool and healthy preventing any type of skin problems including prickly itch.
Essential oil bath to prevent prickly itch
Adding essential oils like lavender and chamomile oil in your daily bathing water can be a relaxing and effective precaution to stay away from the prickly itch. These essential oils help in killing any kind of infection or bacteria on the skin even when they are in the nascent stage. Adding these essential oils in your bathtub and soaking in it for 15 minutes daily can be highly effective to avert the risk of getting prickly heat rashes during pregnancy.
Dos and don’ts
- Sleeping without any clothes on in a dark air-conditioned room during the night and also during the noon is very effective. It prevents hot rashes by keeping your body cool.
- When your body has developed hot rashes, it should be left dry, so don’t use oily ointments or cosmetics on the affected area.
- If there is too much of itching or you feel a burning sensation, use cold compress for instant cooling of the skin for a few minutes.