The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

What causes clogged sweat glands in the groin?

Answer

Some people are genetically disposed to clogged sweat glands. It tends to occur in people who have very curly hair and who tend to sweat a lot. Children are also prone to get it as well as their sweat glands are not well developed. For some reason, the type of sweat glands found in your armpits and groin are more prone to clogging than those elsewhere on your body.

The most common kind of clogged sweat glands is called prickly heat rash. It happens when you have been sweating heavily and the sweat is trapped against your body. Small, pin point blisters appear on the skin that are itchy. The rash will generally disappear in a few hours to a few days. The best treatment for prickly heat rash is to rinse the area well, but do not use soap (soap will irritate the condition). After drying off, use talcum powder or cornstarch to dust the skin. The powder will help absorb any excess sweat and it helps keep your clothing from rubbing on the rash, further irritating the rash. Don't use any oily products as the oils will further clog the sweat glands and hinder evaporation.

You can minimize prickly heat rash by wearing loose clothing that wicks sweat away from the body. Keep the areas prone to getting a rash as dry as you can, especially during the hot days of the year. A heat rash essentially means your body is not cooling down properly by the evaporation of sweat. Prickly heat rash can be a warning sign prior to more serious conditions, such as heat exhaustion.

A few people have a chronic condition where their sweat pores frequently become clogged and it doesn't generally recover on its own. The sores caused by the condition are very painful and require treatment by your doctor.

A good reference for prickly heat rash can be found at: http://my.webmd.com/content/article/8/1680_54300