Beat the Heat: Natural Ways to Treat Miliaria or Prickly Heat Rash

| Modified on Apr 07, 2023
Apple Cider Vinegar

Miliaria, also known as prickly heat, is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages, particularly during hot and humid weather. It is caused by clogged sweat ducts that prevent sweat from evaporating, leading to the characteristic rash and inflammation.

Miliaria can be uncomfortable and itchy, but it is usually harmless and can often be treated with various natural remedies.

Types of Miliaria

There are three types of miliaria:

  1. Miliaria crystallina is the mildest form of the condition, characterized by clear, fluid-filled blisters on the skin's surface. It is usually painless and does not cause any itching or discomfort.

  2. Miliaria rubra, also known as heat rash, is the most common type of miliaria. It is characterized by red, raised bumps on the skin and can be itchy or prickly. Miliaria rubra can occur on any part of the body but is most commonly found on the neck, chest, back, and groin.

  3. Miliaria profunda is a less common and more severe form of miliaria. It occurs when sweat ducts become blocked deep in the skin, resulting in the formation of firm, flesh-colored bumps. Miliaria profunda can be uncomfortable and may cause dizziness or fatigue.

Causes of Miliaria

Miliaria is caused by clogged sweat ducts, but several factors can contribute to this condition. These include:

  1. Hot and humid weather: Excessive sweating in hot and humid conditions can lead to clogged sweat ducts.

  2. Prolonged bed rest: Immobility can cause clogged sweat ducts, especially in infants and the elderly.

  3. Certain fabrics: Tight clothing or synthetic fabrics that trap heat and moisture can contribute to miliaria.

  4. Certain medications: Medications such as beta-blockers and diuretics can interfere with sweating and cause miliaria.

  5. Skin creams and lotions: Occlusive creams and lotions can trap heat and sweat, leading to miliaria.

Natural Remedies for Miliaria

There are a number of natural remedies that can help soothe and treat miliaria, including:

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar treats the underlying cause of miliaria. As he condition is caused by clogged pores, applying apple cider vinegar to the affected area removes dirt and toxins naturally and safely. The vinegar also serves as an anti-inflammatory agent when used in a diluted form.

Castor Oil

Derived from the bean of the castor plant, castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid. This acid penetrates the skin, nourishing and moisturizing it. The oil is also antimicrobial, so it eliminates infection, serves as an anti-itch agent and delivers pain-relieving properties.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a natural cooling agent. When applied to prickly heat, aloe vera relieves itching and cools the affected skin. Aloe vera also helps heal the rash.

Baking Soda 

Baking soda can help reduce inflammation and soothe itching caused by miliaria. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with water to make a paste and apply it to the affected area for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.


Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe itching and reduce inflammation. Mix a cup of oatmeal with warm water and soak in it for 15-20 minutes.

Calamine Lotion 

Calamine lotion can help relieve itching and soothe irritated skin caused by miliaria. Apply it directly to the affected area.

Tea Tree Oil 

Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infection and reduce inflammation caused by miliaria. Dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the affected area.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help reduce inflammation and soothe itching caused by miliaria. Apply it to the affected area using a cotton ball.

Miliaria is an uncomfortable skin condition marked by a red, rough inflamed skin rash. If treated with natural methods such as apple cider vinegar and aloe vera, however, the rash can be not only soothed but also eliminated.

Preventing Miliaria

The best way to prevent miliaria is to keep your skin cool and dry. Wear loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton, and avoid tight clothing or synthetic fabrics that trap heat and moisture. Take frequent breaks from physical activity and stay in air-conditioned spaces during hot and humid weather. Finally, avoid using creams and lotions that can trap heat and sweat on the skin.


In conclusion, miliaria, or prickly heat, is a common skin condition that affects individuals of all ages, particularly during hot and humid weather. It is caused by clogged sweat ducts, and while it can be uncomfortable and itchy, it is generally harmless and can be treated with various remedies.

Preventing miliaria involves keeping the skin cool and dry, avoiding tight or synthetic clothing, and taking frequent breaks from physical activity. Natural remedies such as baking soda, oatmeal, calamine lotion, tea tree oil, and witch hazel can help soothe and treat miliaria effectively.

If you experience symptoms of miliaria, seeking medical advice to rule out any underlying conditions or infections is important. With proper care and attention, miliaria can be managed effectively, allowing individuals to enjoy their activities without discomfort or irritation.

Continue reading to learn which remedies helped Earth Clinic readers with Miliaria and let us know what helped you!

Related Links:

Rash Remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Michael (Delcambre, Louisiana) on 04/17/2018

So I started getting miliaria (heat rash) when I was about 17 and it was horrible! I was cooped into the house for so long... I took calonine to get rid of it some but no one would be able to figure out what it was so I had to find it on my own and when I found it it made all sense!

So I still delt with it for awhile and I thought of apple cider vinegar being a cure all so I decided to take a bath with it and soak in it for about 20 mins in warm water (sounds bad but it worked) and I did that for about a few week and then up until now because I quit taking a bath with it and it came back. But when it starts coming back I go and take a bath with the apple cider vinegar and I'm back to normal again!

Try it! It works!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by R (Brooklyn, Ny) on 04/05/2010

ACV for Miliaria (Prickly Heat)

This is completely embarrassing. I'm a woman with large breasts and, unfortunately, I gained weight that I'm now working off.

One day I was in the shower and noticed that the skin under my breast was very itchy. I looked and noticed it was a rash. I'd never had anything like it and, a few days later, realized it was prickly heat because of my heavy breasts. I then looked at pics of prickly heat cases and pretty much my skin looked just like it. :(

I read that apple cider vinegar might help. (It helps with so many ailments that I figured why not try it?) However, I knew my skin was tender, so I watered it down with about 50% water. I got a cotton ball and applied it to the skin under my breasts. There was a little stinging but the itching went away. I treated my skin consistently for a day. Then I went to the gym. I brought some cotton balls soaked in 100% ACV with me and used them after I showered. I've decided that I'll probably be a risk for this until I loose the weight that I need to loose.

Now I apply a little ACV after my showers. I even put a little ACV under my breasts before working out. That might be a bit excessive, but I want to avoid this from happening again. It's just not a good feeling. Also, before getting dressed, I follow up with baby powder to soak up any sweat.

Embarrassing to have prickly heat there, but I have it and ACV has saved me again.

Replied by Stephanie
(New Braunfels, Texas)

I tried most all of the Internet remedies for heat rash and thought I'd go insane with the itching. I have been plagued with this for 3 summers which makes living in South Texas no picnic or day at the beach! I have found much relief from making a 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water mix. I put it in a spray bottle and use it as an "after bath splash". I also diligently scrub the area and dry thoroughly but I think the Apple Cider Vinegar is the key. I suspect it is fungal in origin and that the Apple Cider Vinegar has remedied this. Blessed relief!


Thanks for the info on Apple Cider Vinegar and prickly heat in Texas. My neighbor is really suffering. He will give it a try.

Castor Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Zark (Emerald City) on 06/14/2018

Our child had a heat rash and castor oil worked best. We tried the ACV on one side and castor oil on the other.. Both my wife and I agreed that castor oil worked best and quickest.

Replied by Dina


I am just wondering, how would you spread the castor oil on several parts of the body? The rash my son has is in various places on his there a way to thin it out for spreading purposes?

Thank you so much.