Miliaria, commonly known as “heat rash” or “prickly heat” is a common skin condition most noticed in summer, in hot and humid climates.
What Are Heat Rashes?
Heat rashes are caused when the sweat pores get blocked, leading to the sweat getting trapped under the skin. It is frequently seen in children and adults suffering from increased sweating, affecting up to 30% of individuals living in hot and humid climates. Because of this, it also known as “sweat rash”. Heat rash may lead to irritation of skin, pain, and discomfort. Usually, heat rashes resolve in a few days to weeks, but may require medical intervention in persistent cases.
Types Of Heat Rashes
Heat rashes are classified based on how deep the sweat is trapped in the skin. Signs and symptoms may vary from each case depending on the severity.
- Miliaria Crystallina – The mildest and most common form of heat rash. In these rashes, the sweat ducts on the surface of skin are blocked. People with Miliaria crystallina will have small clear or white bumps filled with fluid on the surface of your skin that often burst. It is usually painless and does not itch.
- Miliaria Rubra – Also called the prickly heat, is common in adults than in children, affecting people in hot and humid areas. The sweat pores are blocked deeper in the outer layer of skin. It causes discomfort, itching, pain and irritation. Signs and symptoms include small inflamed blister-like bumps and prickling sensation of the affected area.
- Miliaria Pustulosa – A complication of miliaria rubra, where the blisters get filled with pus.
- Miliaria Profunda – is a lesser common type which is chronic. It occurs in people with excessive perspiration, and the rashes are present on the deepest layer of skin. They have large flesh-coloured bumps.
Heat rashes usually subside on their own. Home remedies for heat rashes such as cold compress, loose clothing, aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar focus on alleviating the symptoms. It is also important to maintain hygeine in the affected parts by keeping it dry, and avoiding tight clothes that cut down aeration and trap sweat. However, in certain persistant cases, the doctors may advice hydrocortisone and anti-inflammatory ointments to reduce the inflammation, which come with the risk of side effects of their own.
Homeopathy For Heat Rashes
Homeopathic remedies are known to have a broad sphere of action on the human body, including the skin. Skin conditions of varying severity such as psoriasis, vitiligo, impetigo and eczema have been managed with homeopathy. A homeopath takes a detailed case of the patient, focusing on symptoms of the physical, mental and emotional suffering, and thus provides a holistic approach to healing the patient. This usually comes with added wellness and betterment in other symptoms of the patient, rather than just the skin. It is to be noted that in homeopathy, no two people will have the exact symptoms of suffering, and hence will not be treated with the same remedy for the same problem.
A 38-year-old woman was forced to live in a cold basement along with her family for two weeks during the military events in Ukraine, in March 2022. She was constantly in warm clothes, did not undress and did not have the opportunity to wash. In a few days, she noticed skin eruptions, first under the breasts, then higher, on the neck and face. At the same time, severe pains appeared in the mammary glands and axillary lymph nodes. This condition was accompanied by fever up to 37.5oC, general weakness and coldness. The mammary glands were swollen, hot, and painful. The pain became worse from touching, and walking, and was better at rest. The lymph nodes under the armpits were enlarged and also painful. The rashes were red, dry and had small vesicles. Itching was better by washing with warm water. The psychological state of the patient was calm, as her family was then in a safe place.
Thus, it became clear that after a long stay in warm clothes, the patient developed prickly heat rush, possibly with elements of trichophytosis (fungal infection). But this condition was accompanied by bilateral mastitis. Taking into account the symptoms and modalities, the homeopathic remedy Belladonna 200C was prescribed. The next day, the pain in the mammary glands and lymphatic axillary nodes decreased significantly, and the temperature returned to normal. But the rash began to spread to the hands. A day later, a large amount of clear liquid began to discharge from the rash under the breasts, after which the spread of the rash stopped. But the itching continued to bother her.
Considering the amelioration of itching from warm applications, and taking into account that she experienced stress and a certain state of anxiety regarding the situation of having to live in the basement during such situations, Arsenicum album 200C was prescribed 6 days. The itching began to gradually decrease, the residual inflammation of the breasts also disappeared. In 6 days after starting the treatment, the patient’s condition completely returned to normal.
In this case, we observe the management of Miliaria rubra complicated with mastitis with individualised homeopathic medicines. It is to be taken with serious consideration that these remedies were prescribed after a detailed case taking by a professional and careful study of the case, and are not to be taken without professional advice. More interesting and exceptional case studies may be accessed here.
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Dr Tamara Kozymenko graduated from the Bogomolets National Medical University in Kyiv in 1981, and then worked as scientific worker in the Institute of Gerontology in Kyiv until 1990. Since 2007, she has led the Homeopathic Studies at PHEE Kyiv Medical University. In 2015 she was awarded the title of associate professor (docent) of the Department of phytotherapy, homeopathy and bioenergoinformational medicine at PHEE Kyiv Medical University. Kozymenko studied homeopathy at Kyiv Medical University from 2003 to 2004 during the postgraduate specialization on traditional and complementary medicine, and also from 2008 to 2011 at the Russian branch of the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy (IACH). In 2011 she received her Diploma from IACH. In 2011 and 2013 she coordinated the IACH groups in Kyiv, and she has been a Coordinator of E-learning Course of IACH in Ukraine since 2016. Dr. Kozymenko also worked on the Committee of traditional and complementary medicine for the Ministry of Health in the Ukraine from 2007 to 2012, and as an expert in traditional medicine from Ukraine, Dr. Kozymenko participated in the WHO Congress for Traditional Medicine in 2008 in Beijing.