The Medical Dermatology Program at Massachusetts General Hospital is a full-service dermatology practice that provides care for all skin, hair and nail conditions.
What is prickly heat?
Prickly heat, also called miliaria, is a skin rash caused by trapped sweat under the skin. Sweat can become trapped when the narrow ducts through which sweat travels to the surface become clogged. Prickly heat tends to be more common in warmer, more humid climates. The condition usually appears on the torso and thighs, especially where skin touches skin.
What are the symptoms of prickly heat?
The following are the most common symptoms of prickly heat. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Large, red areas on skin
The symptoms of prickly heat may resemble other skin conditions. Talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis if your symptoms do not improve with home care.
Treatment for prickly heat
The condition usually clears up when sweating is avoided. Other treatment may include:
Keeping the skin cool and dry