Monsoon mantras for your skin-n-hair
By Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr. Jaishree Sharad.
The onset of monsoon showers is always welcome and refreshing after the scorching heat of summer. However, the rainy season requires a little more effort to keep your skin and strands looking fresh and youthful because humidity and polluted rain water can cause infections and allergies. Some stay-gorgeous-through-the-rain mantras that I always recommend to my patients include drinking boiled water as far as possible, not eating at road side stalls and keeping a colorful umbrella and raincoat handy at all times. You may not realize it but ultraviolet rays can darken skin even on cloudy days. It’s advisable to use a water resistant sunscreen with SPF 20+ through the rains.
Wet weather brings a host of skin problems. Here are some common issues and their solutions:
Problem: Fungal infections
Fungal infections are more common in the rainy season because of wet clothes and footwear. Armpits, groin and the area between toes are the most commonly affected.
Solution: Use an antibacterial soap for bathing. Nykaa recommends Palmer’s Skin Success Anti Bacterial Medicated Soap. After bathing, dust some anti-fungal powder (such as Clotrimazole Dusting Powder available at any chemist) on your feet, underarms, body folds and groin area. As far as possible wear open footwear when walking in the rain. Remember to wash your feet with soap and water after exposure to puddles or rainwater. If your socks get wet on your way to work, change into dry socks when you get indoors or go bare feet. Never stay all day in wet footwear, it’s the worst thing you can do to your feet!
Problem: Boils and pimples
Humidity causes our skin to sweat and attracts dirt and pollutants to stick to the skin’s surface. This bacterial buildup results in boils. Clogged pores in this weather can also cause breakouts and pimples.
Solution: As soon as you get home, cleanse your face to wash away grime and dirt. Nykaa suggests L’Oreal Paris Go 360 Clean Anti Breakout. While outdoors keep wet wipes handy to prevent sweat and dust buildup on skin.
Problem: Pediculosis (Lice)
Lice infestation of hair is a common monsoon concern and can occur in the highest social strata if damp hair is kept tied up.
Solution: Always shampoo your hair after a drenching. Dry your hair completely before tying it up. If you have lice, apply Perlice Lotion on the scalp at bedtime and wash in the morning. Up to three applications may be necessary.
Problem: Dandruff and lusterless hair
Normal to oily hair gets greasy while dry hair tends to frizz in the monsoons. The scalp may also become itchy and flaky.
Solution: Use a shampoo containing 2% Ketoconazole and Zinc Pyrithione to combat dandruff. Wash and condition your hair to restore sheen. Use an anti-frizz serum if your hair gets frizzy. Avoid using hair mousse, wax and gels during the rain as styling products can make your hair even more frizzy, dry and tangled.