Summer’s on its way out, making way for cooler winds, greener trees and the much-needed monsoon showers. While the monsoons bring relief from the scorching summer heat, it also brings with it a plethora of skin and hair ailments.
Come rain, come problems
The monsoon humidity and dampness create the perfect environment for infections to thrive and conditions to flare up. Here are some of the most common things that can occur:
- Ringworms (jock itch, athlete’s foot)
- Folliculitis (red, painful bumps on the body)
- Acne (caused by increased humidity)
- Pigmentation (because of sun exposure, yes it happens in the monsoons, too)
- Greasy hair
- Lice and Boils in the scalp.
Staying ailment free:
While infections and skin conditions may be rampant, there are little things you can do to make sure you steer clear of them and enjoy the monsoons to the fullest.
All about the skin:
- Make sure to wash your face at least twice a day with face wash
- After a shower, pat dry to your skin and use a moisturiser to prevent any dryness
- Use a sunscreen (no, clouds don’t filter out UV rays)
- Shower twice a day (get all the icky stickiness out) with lukewarm water. Extremely hot water tends to dry out the skin.
- Dry your skin completely, especially the crook of your elbows, behind the knees and the underarms.
- Avoid wearing damp clothes, and wearing clothes on wet skin. These are the most common causes of fungal infections.
- If you get wet in the rain (including after the gym when you’re sweaty), take a shower as soon as you get home. An alternative is to dry yourself and change your clothes immediately.
- Don’t forget to moisturise after your shower. (No, it won’t cause extra sweating) Choose a mild moisturising lotion for the season.
- Don’t share the towels or napkins you use, to avoid infections.
- Watch your feet. Rainwater and sweating are common causes of fungal infections. Wash your feet and pat them dry as soon as you come home. Make sure you use a thicker moisturiser for your feet.
- If you develop any infection, please consult your dermatologist at once. Please don’t ignore it or use OTC (Over the Counter) medicines.
Care for the hair:
- Avoid damp, frizzy and flat hair by using a mild shampoo and conditioner. Steer clear of lathering shampoos, as they make your hair rough and dry during the monsoons.
- Use lukewarm water to wash your hair three times a week. And condition every time you do. Once done, dry your hair gently with a thin towel.
- A leave-on conditioner or post-shower serum helps your hair retain moisture if it gets too dry this season
- If your hair gets wet in the rains, make sure you wash it with shampoo. This helps prevent boils and lice.
- As comfortable as they may seem, avoid getting oil massages. During the monsoons, they tend to increase the risk of getting boils.
- If you’re out in the rains, make sure your hair is loosely tied and covered (even if you’re under an umbrella)
As you welcome the cooler weather and fresher days, it’s time to say goodbye to the season’s skin and hair problems, so you can enjoy the monsoons to the fullest.
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This article is one in a series of articles on skin conditions by Dr. Sejal Saheta – MD, DNB – Dermatology and Venereology. The objective of this series is to educate the reader and help them take precautions against various skin conditions they come across on an everyday basis. These articles are not meant to be used by patients for self-diagnosis or for avoiding proper medical treatment. The images used in the above blogs are just for the visual representation of the treatment results may vary from patient to patient.