Ah, the beauty of monsoon! Rain-drenched landscapes, romantic drives, and cosy evenings with loved ones. Can’t get better than this, right? Wrong! Indian monsoon is lovely, but the rains bring along with it a barrage of health problems that can be downright uncomfortable.
Other than excessive humidity, it’s also the time where fungal infections show its ugly fangs. Most of these problems are not life-threatening but the unwillingness to visit a doctor/dermatologist can up the risk and severity of the condition.
Dr Chiranjiv Chhabra, a renowned Delhi-based dermatologist says, “Women often do not care to visit a dermatologist when it comes to common skin issues. Instead, they prefer to go to the salon to find a solution. However, it is essential to visit a dermatologist even in case of minor skin issues as they would be able to give a core and medical solution to the problem.”
We spoke to Dr Debjani Chakraborty, consultant facial aesthetics, SENS, Anti-Ageing/Wellness Clinic, New Delhi, on the problems that plague people during the rainy season and here’s what she had to say:
Infections: The commonest of infections during monsoon are facial folliculitis (an inflammation of the hair follicles), acne and ringworm. The cause of such infections is mostly bacterial or fungal. People are more susceptible to infections during this season due to excessive sweating, dehydration, photo-toxic effects of the sun and, of course, humidity.
Remedy: The ideal way to avoid such problems would be to try and keep dry and avoid excess perspiration. Taking regular and more frequent baths can help. Also, be careful of using public toilets, where due to lower hygiene one is exposed to infections. Keep the body hydrated by consuming 10-12 glasses of water and also apply plenty of moisturisers to keep your skin hydrated.
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating: Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterised by excessive sweating in the armpits, palms, soles of the feet, face, scalp and torso. Such conditions can get worse during monsoon and lead to body odour and further infections.
Remedy: The best treatment is Botox injections in the area that reduces the sweating. Everyone knows of Botox as the wonder wrinkle-buster but apart from its cosmetic applications, it is medically used to treat a number of nerve and muscle-related disorders. But it’s not a cure, just a therapy. Apart from that, personal hygiene needs to be taken care of.
Pigmentation/patchy uneven skin: Hyperpigmentation is characterised by a darkening of an area of skin caused by the overproduction of a pigment in the skin known as melanin. It is relatively common and usually harmless. Hyperpigmentation is the result of either of two occurrences — first, an abnormally high concentration of melanocytes produce melanin, and second, when melanocytes are hyperactive due to sun exposure.
Remedy: Best way is to avoid the sun exposure as much as possible. For those who have no choice but to go out into the sun, there are various medications and laser therapies available to treat the condition. Make sure you consult a dermatologist before opting for anything.
Dull, frizzy hair: Frizzy mane is a woman’s worst enemy during monsoon. The moisture in the air can play havoc with your beautiful tresses.
Remedy: 1 tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar mixed with half a cup of water poured on the hair can help calm the tresses. Since dryness is the major cause one should use gentle shampoo and avoid excessive use of chemicals.
Skin allergies: It is extremely common in cities such as Delhi, where pollution levels are sky-high. Commonly affected areas include upper back, hands and feet. Most often cause cannot be ascertained as allergies can have multiple sources.
Remedy: Antihistamines are the mainstay of treatment though finding out the real culprit is very important in recurrent cases.
Note: Most monsoon problems can be avoided with the use of tea tree oil on a regular basis.