Anyone else extra itchy this summer?

As if this past weekend wasn't bad enough with laying one of our family dogs to rest, I've developed a huge heat rash. I've had little patches of this in the past, but every once in awhile it hits hard. Maybe you're one of the lucky few who doesn't experience this so you're not sure what I'm talking about. I had just about written it off as something I'm going to have to deal with all my life, but it turns out there are things you can do to prevent it.

First of all, what is it?

For me, it typically starts as a normal itch on the skin. However, after a few "harmless" scratches, it turns into a cluster of tiny red bumps that are prickly and itchy. Don't worry, it's only something that everyone and their mom asks about. Like this past weekend for instance... "What did you do to your arm?" "What's wrong with your back?" "Did you scratch yourself?" "Did you know there's a big red splotch on your back?" Being fair-skinned I hear that last one fairly often. I've just started answering "heat rash" before continuing on with my life.

It's more common in young children and babies.

Thanks to a little research on Web MD, and after determining that heat rash won't kill me, I found that there are ways to prevent it and to treat it. First of all, you typically get a heat rash when you are in hot and damp areas. If your skin remains damp in the heat thanks to sweating or not toweling off enough after the pool, you may develop an itch or rash. You can also develop one if your sweat glands are blocked, by tight clothing or even oil-based lotions and potions.

Here a few steps to avoiding heat rash:

- Try to avoid hot and humid places

- Shower and change out of sweaty clothing after workouts

- Dry off well after swimming

- Wear breathable, lose clothing

The easiest way to get rid of these rashes is to keep yourself cool and dry. Heat rashes will clear up on their own. Obviously, if they don't then you may want to talk to a doctor. For me, a few soaks in an oatmeal bath treatment usually does the trick. Oh, and extra trips for ice cream... Hubby never complains about that 'treatment.'

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