What are the Causes of Bungang Araw and How to Treat it?
Let’s face it, everyone gets the skin condition termed as “bungang araw” sometime in their lives, which has prompted most of us to try all sorts of different bungang araw remedies. Also referred to as “prickly heat,” it is often the result of the hot and humid weather in tropical countries such as the Philippines.
The feeling is unpleasant. It causes a prickly sensation that can rob someone of an afternoon or evening of rest and relaxation, or worse, days of discomfort. Also, we can’t afford to have our little ones experience this irritating feeling. Is there anything we can do about it? Is there any emergency way to remedy this annoying rash without resorting to expensive pharmaceutical intervention?
First and foremost, what is bungang araw?
Bungang araw is a Filipino term used to describe the skin condition known as “prickly heat.” Bungang araw, also known as miliaria rubra, are the rashes that appear as tiny, reddish, raised spots on the skin. It usually occurs around the neck, under the armpits, or even across the groin area – these are areas where the skin often rubs against each other. This skin condition is common during summer, when the weather is at its hottest.
Bungang araw is not really itchy, but it often causes an irritating prickly sensation. This skin problem is experienced by both children and adults, but is most common in infants and young children. Why are infants and young children commonly affected? Babies and kids have underdeveloped sweat glands which can easily exacerbate the skin condition.
What are the causes of bungang araw?
If there is one common denominator involving bungang araw, it would be this: heat. As previously mentioned, this condition is common in hot and humid climates like the Philippines. When sweat glands produce sweat and become clogged, it may result in bungang araw. Sweat glands may also be clogged with dirt and bacteria alongside sweat and sebum. This causes skin irritation and tiny bumps start to show. Untreated bungang araw may lead to swelling, infection, and/or even rupturing of sweat glands. Further, any condition that causes increased sweating can induce bungang araw, such as dressing in warm clothes or high fever.
Common symptoms of bungang araw
The tell-tale signs of bungang araw are the appearance of rashes, bumps, and dots that can have different colors and forms – from clear, to red, flesh-tone, and fluid-filled blisters. They will often appear in parts of the body where the skin folds and rubs against each other or against clothing that causes friction.
Bungang araw in infants and children
Prickly heat often affects babies and children, and it can be disturbing for parents to see their children restless and irritable. Heat rash in babies is termed as miliaria crystallina. It is not red in color, unlike bungang araw in adults. It is transparent and colorless. These are clear blisters that break easily, causing more discomfort for your child.
How long does heat rash last in infants and children? That depends on how long the child is exposed to the cause, and if the child continues to be exposed to the cause. The culprit is either the hot and humid temperature or the inappropriate clothing for the child. Most of the time, for mild to moderate heat rash, it lasts for a couple of days and disappears when the causative factor is removed.
The key is to keep your child cool as much as possible. On extremely hot and humid days, you can have your child in an air-conditioned room or near a cooling fan as a preventive home remedy for bungang araw.
The different types of bungang araw
Bungang araw can manifest itself in many forms, and there are times when one is caught unaware that they have it until the itching and prickling sensation becomes annoying and unbearable. Here are the three common types of bungang araw that most Filipinos experience:
- Miliaria Crystallina or Clear Bungang Araw is the mildest form of bungang araw or heat rash, which affects the sweat ducts in our skin’s topmost layer. Measuring around 1 to 2mm, the rash appears in tiny, transparent bumps or blisters similar to beads of sweat. These papules, in general, do not swell or cause itchiness, and they can usually be seen around the head, neck, torso, and body.
- Miliaria Rubra or Red Bungang Araw refers to the common bungang araw or prickly heat due to the blockage of sweat glands. In infants and children, it often appears as red bumps or blisters in the neck and usually hidden parts of the body, and they can be itchy and irritating. Meanwhile, in adults, it surfaces in the upper torso, nape, neck, and other parts of the body that constantly rub against each other. They can also be accompanied by high fevers and/or excessive sweating.
- Miliaria Profunda or Deep Bungang Araw, which is also referred to as tropical anhidrosis, occurs after recurring red bungang araw. When sweat seeps into the dermis, or middle layer of the skin, and causes blockage in the dermoepidermal junction, flesh-colored papules of around 3mm in size eventually form on the skin. While it is rare, older males are more prone to experience this type of bungang araw, which is usually seen in their upper torso and extremities.
Given their distinctions, bungang araw in all its different forms can affect anyone in whatever age group. So, it always helps to know what triggers it and how you can address this bothersome skin condition. Here are the other symptoms to look out for when you or your baby is experiencing bungang araw:
- Sharp, excruciating pain around the rashes
- Open wounds due to the rashes
- Red streaks on the skin
- Swollen lymph nodes between the legs, neck, and armpits
If these occur, there might be some need to consult a doctor, as these symptoms tell you that the condition might be worse than a common heat rash, and it can be something more serious.
How to treat bungang araw
We often wonder if there really is an effective remedy for bungang araw, as it typically resolves as the weather improves. But when it occurs, the first thing you should do is cool your body down. As previously mentioned, the key is to keep you and your child’s body cool. The main culprit is the temperature. During the summer, you can opt to stay in cool places – like an air-conditioned room or in a shaded area where ventilation is good. On the other hand, when a symptom has already occurred, here are some natural ways to remedy bungang araw.
Try these home remedies to relieve bungang araw:
- First and foremost, stay in a cool, well-shaded, and well-ventilated area and opt for loose, comfortable, and breathable clothing, preferably cotton. The prickly sensation is very uncomfortable and wearing clothes with tough fabric can exacerbate the condition. Loose, comfortable, and breathable clothing is best to lessen sweating and let your skin breathe. The best type of clothing would be cotton clothes. Cotton is manufactured in a way that has the ability to control moisture, insulate, and provide comfort – not to mention that it is hypoallergenic.
- Apply cold compress on the affected area. Cold provides a cooling effect that eases bungang araw’s prickly feel. It eases the skin condition by delaying the transmission of nerves from the affected area. For immediate relief from inflammation and itching, you can wrap a few ice cubes in a dish cloth and place it on the area for several minutes. Do this every 4-6 hours for 2-3 days or until you see improvement. This prevents the rashes from spreading. Alternatively, you can also take cold showers or baths.
- Use baking soda to ease the discomfort and cure prickly heat. This kitchen staple is also another helpful remedy for bungang araw. Baking soda works as an exfoliant, unclogging pores by removing layers of dead skin cells and other impurities. Aside from being an effective exfoliant, baking soda has an antibacterial property that prevents the rash from spreading. This also helps relieve the itching associated with bungang araw. To treat bungang araw with baking soda, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 cup of cold water. Soak a clean washcloth in the solution and put it over the affected area for 5-10 minutes. Moreover, you can also enjoy a baking soda soak in a bath tub. Simply add a cup of baking soda to a tub of cold water and let the baking soda dissolve completely. Soak in this bath for 20 to 30 minutes twice a day until rashes disappear.
- Apply aloe vera on the affected area. This plant is known for its cooling and soothing properties, so it is also a great remedy for bungang araw. Herbalists often recommend aloe vera for prickly heat. Botanically known as aloe barbadensis, it is a highly effective medicinal plant that can cure a number of skin conditions from minor burns, canker sores, sunburn, and even psoriasis and heat rash. Aloe is rich in salicylic acid, a compound with pain relieving properties. It also has anthraquinones and sterols that provides the anti-inflammatory effect, and mannose and glucose to promote healing. Just extract fresh aloe vera gel from an aloe leaf and rub the gel over the affected areas. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then take a cold shower. You can apply the gel three to five times a day. If you don’t have any aloe vera plant around, aloe vera gel can be bought at local pharmacies and grocery stores.
- The power of moringa oil for prickly heat.Moringa is a super plant that is also packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients. Moringa oil, derived from the malunggay plant, contains vitamin A, B-vitamins, C, D, E, and K. Not only that, but it also contains the following minerals: copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, silica, sulphur, and zinc. Malunggay contains all essential amino acids needed by the body. Moringa O2’s Moringa oil, a powerful blend of malunggay, olive oil, and sunflower omega oil, is the best product to take good care of your skin. Treat bungang araw with Moringa-O² Hair, Scalp and Skin Therapy Oil by applying the oil to damp skin. Massage gently on the affected area until it is fully absorbed and apply as often as needed.
Keep prickly heat at bay by using moringa oil as a home remedy for bungang araw. Of course, prevention is better than cure. So, effectively prevent bungang araw for you and your baby by keeping your bodies cool at all times.
Avoid direct exposure to heat and avoid staying in hot and humid areas. On the other hand, when you can’t avoid such circumstances and a rash appears on you or your baby, the above remedies are both natural and helpful to ease your discomfort and eliminate heat rash.
Remember that you have to remove the root cause to make these home remedies effective. You cannot simply apply moringa oil and still go to places with hot and humid temperatures. Let your skin breathe in a comfortable and cool environment as much as possible.
Moringa O2 has a wide range of products that not only alleviates heat rash for you and your baby, but can also address other skin and hair problems.
The Moringa-O2 line is composed of a powerhouse combination of moringa, olive oil, and omega oil. Olive oil is known for its moisturizing properties. It is also a powerful astringent to keep bacteria at bay. Omega oil from sunflower seed is rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent skin aging.
The three ingredients, when combined, yield a large amount of vitamin A, E, and C. Moringa O2 has a powerful line of products that can address a variety of skin problems. It also has a wide expanse of products for hair (scalp and skin therapy oil, herbal shampoo with argan oil, herbal conditioner with argan oil, and hair relaxing serum with argan oil), face (herbal soap, herbal toner, and hair scalp and skin therapy oil), and body (insect repellant, herbal moisturizing lotion, herbal soap, and hair scalp and skin therapy oil).
If you’re experiencing irritating and itchy bungang araw, know that there is a natural, reliable, and gentle solution that can help you prevent and remedy those nasty bumps.
For any questions, concerns, or inquiries, don’t hesitate to contact us today.