7 Ways to Deal with Bungang Araw (Prickly Heat Rash)

This summer, you could be sweating more than usual. It’s okay—you deserve to enjoy and frolic in the heat. With the religious application of sunscreen and by remembering to drink lots of water, you’re good to have fun under the sun. Don’t get too excited, though. Sweating it out too much in the heat can force your body to succumb to common summer ailments, such as bungang araw.

Photo by Seth Saywers (image not representative of condition) via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

Image by Seth Saywers (image not representative of condition) via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

Bungang araw, or prickly heat rash, can develop when you’re sweating more than usual and your sweat glands become blocked. Bungang araw causes small red raised red spots in the back, abdomen, neck, armpits, groin and chest. They create a prickling or stinging sensation, hence the name prickly heat.

Prevent and treat this condition before they ruin your holiday. Here are some simple tips and home remedies.

 

1. Stay cool

It’s tempting to drive to the nearest seaside with your friends and spend the entire afternoon at the beach, but if you’re serious about preventing bungang araw, then it’s best to stay indoors.

Swedish Nostalgia or The Simplicity of Life

Image from Collin Key via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by NC-SA 2.0)

It would be better if your house has a working electric fan and air conditioners. Cool showers during the hottest times of the day are also good preventions for sweating.

 

2. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothes, preferably made from cotton

Clothes with light textures are good for letting in air even in the covered parts of the body, such as the armpits and the back, where rashes are likely to form.

Photo by Marvin O. via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by NC-ND 2.0)

Image by Marvin O. via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by NC-ND 2.0)

If it is already too late for you and you have bungang araw, then try some home remedies to help you relieve the itching and prickly sensation.

 

3. Keep your skin dry.

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Image from Michael via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

The affected areas can be very sensitive and will only get worse with more sweating. You can keep them dry by avoiding strenuous or any outdoor activities that require you to be under the sun for extended periods. As soon as feel sweat forming, wipe it off immediately with a soft towel. For better results, spend the hottest hours in an air-conditioned room.

4. Rub baking powder solution on your rash.

Image by Rainer Z. via Wikimedia Commons (CC by SA 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, and 1.0)

Image by Rainer Z. via Wikimedia Commons (CC by SA 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, and 1.0)

The rashes can be incredibly itchy and uncomfortable. The worst part is, the more you scratch them, the itchier they get. To relieve the itch, mix one cup of water and one cup of baking powder. Soak a clean towel in this solution and rub it all over the affected areas.

 

5. Rub cold watermelon pulp on your rash

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Image from Steven Depolo via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

Watermelon is also effective in easing the swelling of the skin. Better yet, use ones that have been sitting in the fridge for a while. The colder, the better.

 

6. Dab boiled ginger solution on your rash

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Image from Jim Lighfoot via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

Cut up or pound some fresh ginger roots and boil it in water. As soon as the solution cools, soak in a towel or a soft towel or washcloth, then rub it on your rash.

 

7. Apply cucumber on affected areas

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Image from Stacey Spensley via Flickr Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

The rashes can sometimes cause intolerable burning sensation. To relieve the burn, cut up a chilled cucumber and apply the cold slices on the red spots. Leave them on for at least half an hour. You can do the same with papaya and Aloe Vera.

 

Even nasty skin conditions like this shouldn’t prevent you from making the most of the summer, but remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that goes for other heat-related ailments like sun burn, heat stroke, and more.

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