It’s the 23rd July 2017 and the summer heat is ramping up here in Cyprus. The ‘H’ Team, our two beloved English Springers, Harvey and Holly, are feeling the heat and I’m scratching at my arms and back like there’s no tomorrow. My wife says I should “leave it alone and not think about it” but I’m a man and therefore fallible in her superior female eyes… plus the fact my arms are as itchy as I’ve ever experienced and I have to scratch. I’m a bit like Baloo the Bear from Jungle Book, always looking for somewhere to have a good scratch. Yes, the old itch is back — prickly heat!

It started last year on a small break in Protaras in Cyprus and I woke up one day with scratches down my arm. Had my wife been pawing at me for some attention? Did we have bed bugs! Nope, it was the famous prickly heat, scourge of many a holidaymaker unused to hot and humid conditions.

This year it’s back with a vengeance and I’m luckily at home and not paying a fortune for Doctor Dooh Daah’s Prickly Heat Lotion. If you ever get this awful affliction, only buy two things. Anti-Histamine tablets and Calamine Lotion. Wash the affected parts frequently in cold water (don’t use soap) and dab those parts dry. Try to ensure you don’t sweat a lot, so use the Air Conditioning. When you get itchy urges, dab Calamine Lotion on. Many of the so called ‘cures’ you can buy in a Pharmacy are in actual fact re-labelled Calamine Lotion and cost a fortune.

Prickly heat is simply pores clogged with the crap your skin slews off when sweaty. Once the pores are blocked and can’t take it anymore, they burst open and your skin starts to itch from the rubbish the pores throw out. Sand and sea water can also be a factor, so again be aware of the consequences of sunbathing when you have prickly heat.

Of course the other thing that happens when it’s very hot and humid is that tempers fray. We all get ratty sometimes, but in this heat our fuses are a lot shorter. I’m afraid there’s no cure for a short temper, so if you’re prone to rattiness, take my advice, have a cup of tea and don’t talk to anyone.

Tom Kane © August 2017

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