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How to Prevent and Treat Prickly Heat or Bungang Araw

Read up on how to prevent and treat this common summer health problem among infants and toddlers.
  • Pricky Heat or Bungang Araw

rash

What is it?

Also known as miliaria rubra or bungang araw in local parlance, this notorious rash appears as tiny, reddish, raised spots that dot the skin, most often around the neck, under the armpits, or across the groin areas. These are not really itchy, but they often cause an irritating, “pricking” sensation.

What causes it?

Prickly heat occurs when sweat gland ducts become clogged and retain sweat. This can cause swelling and sometimes infection, or cause the sweat glands to rupture. It is often induced by hot, humid weather, and also by any condition that may cause increased sweating, such as high fever or even just dressing too warmly.

How it can be prevented?

  • Bathe everyday
  • Wear light breathable clothing
  • Have a towel around to dry sweat from skin
  • Keep baby in cool, well-ventilated rooms, or limit exposure to the sun
  • How is it treated?

    Prickly heat clears up on its own by keeping the child cool. Cornstarch or baking soda are old-school remedies but may not be your best bet without doctor’s advice. Misuse of these powdered remedies may clog sweat glands even more. Keep your tot from scratching with their fingernails, and avoid lotions and creams as these can lead to infections and allergies.

    Check out other skin health problems prevalent in the summer:



    SOURCES:

    • Mijaru Malayang-Kimwell, M.D., medicine resident, East Avenue Medical Center
    • Department of Health’s Health Advisories, doh.gov.ph
    • “Recent intelligence on the evil triad of allergy, asthma, and eczema,” AboutKidshealth.ca

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