Skin Protection during Rainy Season
Skin Protection in Rainy Season
Rainy season make it easier for us to catch several skin conditions. These may range from prickly heat, boils, fungal infections, nail infections, insect bites, eczemas and allergies.
It would be conservative to assume that either every one of us might have experienced at least once from one of such conditions or might have observed them in someone close to us.
Skin diseases tend to be ignored until symptoms get so pronounced that normal routine gets compromised. Unfortunately, by that stage the disease process has advanced to a significant degree and
it takes longer to recover. A delay in seeking treatment itself might entail a number of physician visits and considerable expenses.
Fortunately, armed with basic knowledge about how skin diseases spread during rainy season and what precautions to follow, a majority of the disease burden can be avoided.
Rainy season is experienced in most of the countries in the world. It is worth mentioning that the most populous regions of the earth experience considerable amount of rains. It is in these regions
that most of the less educated, under-privileged and the poor live, with significant number of them being homeless and devoid of adequate access to healthcare. That explains why we need to protect ourselves from skin diseases that accompany rainy season.
It has been observed that the people most prone to rain/humidity related skin disorders are the children, the malnourished, the bare-footed, diabetics, the elderly, and those who need to wear uniforms or footwear over long duration to meet their occupational needs.
The diseases that are of major concern to us are bacterial infections, fungal infection, boils, redness and pain/itching in the friction prone sites, prickly heat, excessive hair fall, and swelling and infection of the nails. Allergies and eczema might also get aggravated during rainy season.
Prevention & Coping strategies
The fundamental change that makes an individual prone to greater risk of skin diseases during rainy season is the persistent humidity, accumulated sweat, prolonged immersion of body parts in water, and consequent softening of skin layers. Managing this aspect is the key to prevention of such conditions. This can be achieved by a combination of measures like:
1 You should wash and dry your skin surface thoroughly at least once daily. Areas that need particular attention are the armpits, under the breasts, in between the fingers, groins and private parts, behind the knees and all sides of the feet with special attention to the spaces between the toes or wherever the opposing surfaces come in contact as in the groove between the buttocks. Soap is not that important as is popularly thought to be, but the mechanical action of thorough rubbing that helps in reducing the load of germs in a body area.
2 You should wear breathable loose and cotton garments that permit perspiration to evaporate quickly.
3 You should avoid oily preparations for skin in rainy season as oil forms a coating that hinders sweat evaporation.
4 Talcum powders may not be of much help as they tend to block skin pores. Prickly heat tends to heal by itself but at times the infection sets in and it is better to see a dermatologist in that case.
5 Frequent sponging with normal slightly cool tap water is soothing while it also helps open up clogged skin pores that are blocked due to dead skin cells (a natural process) as well as dust or environmental particles.
6 You should consume plenty of water so that dehydration does not set in and sweating is facilitated.
7 Bathing more than once a day is useful in cleaning the skin and it also promotes good hygiene. It has been observed that increased hair fall experienced by some individuals during rainy season is self limiting in most cases and rarely does one need treatment for hair loss due to excessive humidity. This might be related to softening of hair support system.
8 The areas around nails, between toe spaces and groins are be thoroughly dried using a hair dryer or blower set at normal temperature.
9 The footwear should be well fitting and should be frequently taken off to ventilate the feet. It is risky to wear damp socks.
10 The undergarments need to be changed at least once daily and body folds dried thoroughly before putting clothes on.
11 You should not use medications like antibiotics to ward off any likely infection because indiscriminate use encourages drug resistance in the germs.
12 If despite all that one has control over, a skin/ nail/ hair condition develops, one should not hesitate in reaching out to dermatologist and follow his or her prescription and instructions.
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Dr Vinay Kumar
Senior Consultant Dermatologist
+91-93 199 299 00
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