Ever heard of prickly heat? I hope for your sake you haven't 11 months ago

Ever heard of prickly heat? I hope for your sake you haven't

Prickly heat is by far the worst part about hot weather. 

With our current heatwave, people have been quick to complain about it being too hot: either because we have to continue working in buildings that are not built to withstand the heat or that our bodies aren't used to the high temperatures.

Another factor in our complaints is the sunburn. We have a habit of not slathering on enough sun cream when the sun is out, and seeing as the Irish skin tone doesn't lend itself well to this treatment there tends to be a lot of red faces and arms going about the place.

But, if you have ever experienced prickly heat then you will know that these complaints are minor in comparison.


I have sallow skin - well, a yellow skin tone - but I tan really well, and have always done as a child. I spent all my summer holidays in foreign countries with temperatures as high as 35 degrees at times.

But the one summer I had prickly heat I will never forget.

I had just finished a three-month J1 in Chicago and had planned a week long trip to Las Vegas with my friend, Niamh. The two of us had saved all our money from the summer earnings and were rewarding ourselves with a holiday in Sin City. We were staying in the hotel that looked like a Princess's Castle - Excalibur Hotel.

It was setting up to be a brilliant week before we went back home to Ireland. We had a lovely hotel with a gorgeous pool and scorching weather - everything a 21-year-old girl would want.



But on my second day in, while sitting at the pool, I didn't feel right. I thought at first that there were flies annoying me, but when I checked with Niamh if she was being plagued by flies she looked at me like I had four heads.

I felt like there were hundreds of flies or ants running around on my skin.

I remember getting a moment's relief in the pool water only to resurface and feel the tingling irritation sweep over my whole body once again. As I said before, I can take the heat and I always wear a high factor sun cream, but this was like nothing I had ever experienced.

I tried to ignore it for a while and ran between the pool and shade before eventually giving up and going back to the hotel room.

For the next 48 hours, I had to stay in bed, drinking lots of water and taking antihistamine tablets to ease the irritation.

Most commonly with prickly heat, people would begin to see symptoms of red bumps on the skin, which is caused by sweat being trapped in the hair follicles. I had no such symptoms until the sudden itch I had all over. It did go away, but only after I hid in the room for two whole days.

The advice for people who get prickly heat - either during our heatwave or on holiday this summer - is to get out of direct sunlight, drink plenty of water, and even bathe yourself in a cool bath. Unfortunately, though, you normally just have to let it run its course and let you body get back to normal.

Not the most ideal situation when you're in Sin City. Luckily, what happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas.