First Aid Training - Prickly heat

Prickly heat is a highly irritating prickly red rash, hence the name, and it most commonly occurs in hot weather.

It is caused by bacteria or dead skin cells blocking sweat glands. The rash particularly affects areas where sweat is trapped and cannot evaporate, such as the feet for instance. People who often have prickly heat also tend to be susceptible to heat stroke.

Recognition features

You can recognise prickly heat by a prickling or burning sensation over the effected area, there will also be a rash of tiny red spots or blisters.


Your main aim is to relieve any discomfort and pain so you should encourage the person to stay in cool conditions as much as possible, and cool the skin by gently sponging with cold water.

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