First Aid Guide – Prickly heat

Prickly heat can be incredibly irritating but it is not dangerous. It presents itself as a prickly red rash which occurs most often in hot weather. There are some types of sunscreen which can help to protect against prickly heat, particularly those with a high SPF designed for sensitive skin.

Prickly heat is caused by dead skin cells or bacteria blocking your sweat glands and usually occurs in areas where sweat becomes trapped, such as the feet or armpits. Care should be taken as those who suffer from prickly heat are often also susceptible to heat stroke.

Prickly heat causes a burning or pricking sensation and can be highly uncomfortable. Usually a rash of tiny red blisters or spots accompanies symptoms. Treatment should aim to relieve pain and discomfort. Keep the patient cool and hydrated – a cool shower may help, as will sponging their skin with cold water. Turning on air conditioning can help to prevent prickly heat from developing, as can staying in the shade. Wearing cotton clothing or natural fibres can also help to prevent prickly heat. Some people may be able to take antihistamine tablets, and if they have suffered from prickly heat before, they may have some to hand which you can advise them to take.

Do you suffer from prickly heat on holiday?

Prickly heat by itself isn’t a serious condition, but complications could occur if you suffer from heat stroke at the same time. Keeping cool and hydrated will help to treat symptoms of prickly heat, and it is vital that you don’t ignore your symptoms as they could get worse. Spending too much time in the sun can make symptoms worse and could lead to the development of heat stroke, which may mean you’ll need medical attention.

Claiming compensation

If you have received negligent first aid from somebody whilst suffering from heat stroke or prickly heat, contact Accident Advice Helpline to find out if you could make a claim for compensation. We’ll listen to your individual situation and tell you straight away if we can help. Our team of professional personal injury lawyers have been helping people claim compensation since 2000, so we really know our stuff. However you’ve been injured, you can find out how much compensation you could claim right now by taking the 30-second test on our website. Or call our freephone helpline – we are open 24/7 – for advice in confidence, with no obligation to proceed with a claim.

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