Prickly heat, also known as heat rash, is one of those skin problems that few of us give a seconds thought until we’re on holiday and the uncomfortable, itchy rash appears across our chest and arms. It’s a common issue that plenty of Brits suffer with after a long day at the beach or by the pool. With the summer holiday season just around the corner, we’ve outlined the key methods of treatment and prevention to ensure heat rash doesn’t put a dampener on your break.
What is prickly heat?
Prickly Heat, also known as miliaria or heat rash, is a skin condition that occurs in hot, humid weather conditions when small particles of sweat block the sweat glands causing a rash to appear on the body. The rash can develop anywhere on the body, but it most commonly occurs on the face, neck, back, chest and thighs. It is composed of tiny spots or bumps that are surrounded by an area of red inflamed and itchy skin. The trapped sweat causes localised irritation and the characteristic heat rash.
Whilst prickly heat can also occur during the winter months in those that sweat excessively, there is a theory that it is the exposure of the skin to the sun, that in some, causes a photochemical reaction which releases compounds that can cause excessive sweating resulting in the blockage of the sweat glands and the characteristic rash. Read More…
One of the most common problems faced by air travellers crossing different time zones is Jet Lag. It is characterized by a number of symptoms which can be severe or mild depending upon the length of the journey and include nausea, diarrhoea, depression, loss of appetite, fatigue and headaches. Most people find it difficult to sleep because their bodies are not synchronised to the current time zone.
A remedy that I normally recommend is Asphalia For Sleep, a natural remedy containing wheatgrass which is rich in naturally occurring melatonin. Melatonin helps the body relax and encourages healthy sleep patterns. Regulating your sleep cycle to the timetable in your destination is always a good idea because it will then allow your body to adjust quickly to both sleeping and waking up at the correct time in your destination.
Believe it or not, travel sickness affects between 60% and 70% of the world’s population at one time or another whether it is on a plane, in a car, on a boat or ship. It is an awful feeling and symptoms include nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Travel sickness is thought to be induced as a result of conflicting messages sent to a very specific region in the brain from the visual, gastrointestinal and inner ear nerves with the resulting side effects.
Avoid eating high fat or highly acidic foods before travelling, particularly if you are prone to travel sickness. Eat neutral foods such as yoghurt, crackers, breads and cereals a few hours before flying. Strong smells such as perfumes have an impact on travel sickness making it worse. Avoid reading whilst travelling because this takes your vision away from your location and can interfere with your balance and possibly cause nausea.
Ginger is a traditional herbal remedy that has been used for travel sickness and has recently passed scientific scrutiny. Experiments have shown that ginger capsules were more effective than an over-the-counter medicine in preventing travel sickness. The researchers concluded that ginger absorbs acids and blocks nausea in the gastrointestinal tract. The supplement I recommend is Ginger Capsules by Lamberts and take one capsule daily three or four days before your journey.
We all wish to avoid insect bites whether we are on holiday or not; there is no doubt that some people are more prone to insect bites than others but we do not fully understand why.
Multiple studies indicate that taking vitamin B1 is a proven way to make you less prone to insect bites. Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is a very safe, non-toxic vitamin. This vitamin, when taken in large doses, apparently produces a skin odour that is not detectable by humans but is disagreeable by flying insects. It seems to be especially suitable for those with hypersensitive allergic individuals, and usually takes about two weeks to fully saturate the skin. I recommend taking Vitamin B1 500mg by Solgar Vitamins, take one tablet daily two weeks before your holidays and also during your holiday.
There are many topical insect repellent products on the market but please ensure that you do not use one containing DEET. The chemical DEET (N,N diethyl –toluamide) is a highly effective insect repellent however there are some downsides to using products that contain it. Firstly, it smells bad. Secondly, it leaves an unpleasant oily residue on skin. Finally, it is certainly toxic if ingested but numerous studies suggest that it has a serious effect on our nervous system.
When it comes to topical insect repellents, I prefer the natural route and always recommend Acqua D’Alfresco Anti-Bug Bite Spray, a sweet/spicy smelling fragrance spray containing extracts of geranium, lavender and Melissa in a blend of 22 essential oils tried. Acqua D’Alfresco Anti-Bug Bite Spray is suitable for even those with sensitive skin. For babies and children, use Acqua D’Alfresco Anti-Bug Bite Moisturizer.
For those who do unfortunately get bitten, I would recommend the use of Lemon Balm Cream which helps to soothe itchy and inflamed skin and may prevent infections due to its natural antimicrobial properties.