Sun, beach, fun – the summer could be so beautiful! If it weren’t for those nasty heat spots. The little pustules itch, annoy, look anything but sexy and sabotage your good mood summer feeling.
But don’t despair, the little things are no big deal. We explain what helps you quickly when the beasts sprout on your body and also in your cleavage.
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What are heat spots?
When it gets very warm outside, the humidity is high and you sweat, they are suddenly there: small bubbles or red pustules that spoil your desire for dresses with neckline and bikinis.
These so-called heat spots occur when the exits of the sweat glands swell and become blocked due to heat accumulation. Sweat then accumulates in the pores and makes itself felt with itchy pustules. Dermatologists distinguish between two types of heat spots:
- Miliaria cristallina: Heat spots of this type are located on the upper layer of skin, are colourless and usually filled with some liquid. This form of heat pimples usually disappears quickly.
- Miliaria rubra: In this heat pimple variant, pores in deeper skin layers are clogged. It manifests itself through small, red pimples that are more persistent, can quickly become inflamed and itch intensely.
The skin around the heat spots is usually slightly inflamed, reddened and itchy. This is unpleasant and does not look nice either, but from a medical point of view it is harmless and not contagious.
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If you are prone to heat pimples, you should wear summer clothing made of cotton or linen © pink panda / Shutterstock.com
What is the difference between heat spots and sun allergy?
In case of a sun allergy the skin reacts to UV -radiation with inflammation. It occurs only where the sun hits bare skin. Heat spots, on the other hand, develop in areas of the body where there are particularly many sweat glands, i.e. in the armpits, around the décolleté and between the shoulder blades. They are also frequently found in skin folds.
What helps immediately against heat pimples?
As a rule, heat spots disappear quickly if you follow these tips:
- Gently cleanse the affected skin areas with a mild shower gel (without perfume additives) under lukewarm water, so that the pores are freed and excess sweat can drain away.
- Then find yourself a cool, shady spot first. You should avoid sun, heat and sweaty activities for the time being, as your skin should remain cool and dry.
- If possible, do not wear clothing over the affected areas of skin first, and if necessary, wear cotton or linen.
- Avoid sweaty drinks and food for the next few hours. So stay away from coffee, alcohol, hot spices and extensive meals.
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What to do if the rash itches?
If heat spots and especially itching persist, ointments and gels with silica or zinc or a zinc oxide shaking mixture help to reduce itching (available in pharmacies). Thermal water sprays also contain soothing ingredients.
Scratching is not an option. Otherwise the heat rash can become inflamed, infections can be the result – and the prospect of wearing a dress with a décolleté is a distant prospect. As a rule, medication and a visit to the doctor are not necessary for heat pimples.
However, if the rash and itching get worse, a dermatologist can prescribe anti-itching anti-allergic drugs (antihistamines) or, in the case of a bacterial infection, an antibiotic cream.
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How do I prevent skin irritations in summer?
If you know that you are prone to heat spots, you should pay attention to this during the hot season:
- Clean the affected areas particularly thoroughly in the morning. For example with a light peeling that opens the pores.
- Wear airy clothes made of cotton or linen, heat quickly builds up under synthetic fibres.
- Use light sun creams without perfumes or preservatives that could additionally irritate the skin.
- Women with larger breasts should cleanse the skin under and between the breasts gently (without rubbing!) particularly often in hot weather and make sure that the skin is kept dry. This is where you sweat particularly quickly, sweat accumulates and friction and heat can easily lead to infections, which can also become noticeable by red pustules.
Hot spots do not have to be spoilsports. In summer, ensure good ventilation in areas of the body with many sweat glands and stay in the shade. Sweaty workouts are best done in the early morning hours to prevent your body from overheating.