I know that having dark skin can protect against the rays of the sun…to an extent. I know that African Americans are less likely to get skin cancer…but that doesn’t mean we cannot get it.
In addition, I know that I, as a dark skinned black woman, can get a heat rash.
If you do not know, a heat rash is similar to mild sunburn and can cause red bumps on the skin, and an itchy or prickly feeling. These are due to inflammation of the superficial layers of the skin (the epidermis) and the prickly sensation is similar to the feeling of mild sunburn.
I didn’t know what a heat rash was until I visited Georgia for the first time. My sister moved to Stone Mountain Georgia and my parents wanted to go visit her and get a vacation at the same time. We always rented a van when we traveled. We used to take yearly trips to Houston when I was younger but out of the nine kids my parents had, there were four of us left in the house and therefore just us four took the trip to Georgia.
After only a few hours in the humid heat, my sisters and I started to feel itchy on our arms and legs. We weren’t in the heat that long. However, it was the first time we were in Georgia and I guess we have NEVER been exposed to temperatures like that. When we got to the hotel to shower and change, I noticed that I was getting these itchy red bumps all over me.
Me, being the hypochondriac that I am, thought I was dying. I went crying to my mother who looked at me like “I don’t know what the hell that is.”
I looked at my sisters and realized we all suffered from the same affliction. We did not know what was happening to us. The rash lasted the entire trip. We still had some fun but we eventually slathered ourselves with hydro-cortisone.
When we came home, I researched it and discovered we were experiencing…a heat rash.
After that, I have never experienced or suffered from a heat rash. I moved to Bakersfield and I didn’t get one. My sisters also have never had another one. It was a crazy occurrence that I glad I have never had again.