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    Skin Problems and Allergies during Monsoons by~ Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics

    Published on July 27, 2019

    By Sachin Murdeshwar

    Mumbai: The oppressive heat of the summers is about to give way to the rainy seasons. The weather is about to change to humid and sweaty. Rains are a welcome break from the summer and we all love to sit and enjoy the cool breeze and pitter-patter of raindrops however, we need to take special care of our skin during rains to avoid skin allergies and infections.

    In the modern times, the rains that fall down on the earth are not as pure as it used to be. The rain mixes with pollutants in the air and brings in a lot of cases of infections and allergies. Children are more susceptible to these than the adults are. Common skin problems in monsoons include bullous impetigo, fungal infections in skin and hair, folliculitis and allergies.

    Skin problems can cause rashes, redness and itchiness on the skin.

    Allergy –

    Both environmental and manmade factors can be held responsible for this increase in incidences of skin allergy in the rainy season.

    • Environmental allergens include moulds, pollens, dander, flowers and insects.

    • Manmade allergens include dusts mites, pet dander, pollutants in the air etc.

    Any person who is slight prone to allergens or has a history of asthma, eczema etc. become a candidate for allergic reactions during the monsoon season.  Another factor that aggravates the skin allergies is the fact that once the itching starts, a person tends to scratch the skin, which damages the epidermis and the exposed under layer of the skin, becomes a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria.

    Clothes, shoes and monsoon allergies

    In the sticky climate of monsoon, it is quite common for clothes and shoes to get wet.  Wet clothes and shoes become a hotbed for allergies especially when a person is out for some work and is caught in the rain and stays in the wet clothes and shoes. Synthetic clothes have chemicals and the wet clothes tend to rub against the body causing allergies on the skin. It is quite common for people to complaint about itching on the body in the monsoon season because of wet clothes. The raincoats and jackets, gloves etc. made of synthetic material if not of good quality can cause bad allergies if in contact with the skin. These allergies can give rise to fungal infections especially in the body folds such as inside of the elbows, back of the knees etc.

    This sticky climate of monsoon also translates to sweaty feet and wet sticky shoes. The roads are full of dirty water and muck and it enters the footwear easily. People wear these wet shoes for hours and the result is unclean, smelly feet that are the perfect candidate for allergies to develop. Chemicals such as bonding agents, glue, adhesives, treatment agents etc. are present in the rubber or plastic  shoes and react with water and cause contact dermatitis, which is a kind of painful and uncomfortable allergy.

    Moulds and allergies

    Moulds are a kind of fungi that thrive on food and water sources. Moulds can grow on the wet walls, and in junk lying at home, on heavy tapestry etc .Moulds are well known to cause various allergic problems in monsoons such as allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma. Both indoor and outdoor moulds increase during monsoon giving a rise to skin allergies.

    Fungal Infections

    As such, the weather in monsoon is hot and humid which is a perfect ground for the growth of fungi. Ringworms and whitish furry growth in between the fingers and toes (athlete’s foot)  is a common result of the allergies bred fungal infections in the monsoons. Athlete’s foot: It is a common fungal infection in which itchy, flaky, white blisters start appearing in between the toes and under the feet. This problem spreads in contact. Athlete’s foot causes severe itching and pain.

    Another reason for the rise in fungal infections is the high amount of perspiration in monsoons. The sweat does not dry quickly as the moisture content in the air is too high. The presence of salt on the skin irritates the skin and growth of fungi is very fast in such regions, which in turn causes itchiness and redness. Fungal infections can be contagious therefore you need to take proper care of your skin at all times.

    Folliculitis

    This is a bacterial infection that affects the hair follicle. Since our entire body is covered with hair as a form of protection for the skin. When sweat and pollutants come in contact of the skin, they cause the hair follicles to break out in a red looking pimple, which can be really painful. Folliculitis can occur on the upper back, arms thighs and on the forehead area.

    Bacterial skin infections like impetigo are common during the rains due to faster bacterial growth in moist environments.

    Skin care in Monsoon

    Just keep the following points in mind:

    • People with diabetes are more susceptible to skin allergies and infections during monsoon especially the nail infection and therefore they should take extra care.

    • If you see the onset of any kind of skin allergies then visit a dermatologist instead of visiting a saloon.

    • Wear loose fitting , comfortable clothing.

    • Practice good personal hygiene. Keep yourself and the clothes clean.

    • Don’t stay wet for too long. If you have been in the rain then change as soon as you get home.

    • Carry a raincoat and umbrella with you at all the times during the monsoon season.

    • Remove your wet shoes and socks and don’t wear them without washing properly. Opt for simple and airy footwear during monsoons. This will help keep the feet dry.

    • Skin infections can be contagious sometimes. Keep your towels and other personal belongings separate form others.

    • If you are going swimming then post swimming, take a bath with a disinfectant and use a fungal powder at your underarms, in the groin area and in the gap between the fingers and toes.

    • Do not scratch the skin.

    • Keep the cut wounds covered and change the dressings regularly.

    • Fix any leaks around the house to prevent moulds.

    • Keep the area around your dry and well ventilated.

    • Keep pets out of the bedroom to prevent eczema.

    • Use dust and mite proof covers on mattress and pillows.

    • Remove carpeting in the monsoon season to keep the floor dry.

    • Wash the sheets and blankets regularly.

    • Take good diet that includes lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables and include yogurt, almonds, garlic, brown rice, oats, daliya, dates etc.

    • Keep yourself hydrated at all times. Drinking purified water at regular intervals.

    • Use medicated soaps, antifungal and antibacterial creams during the monsoon reasons. Consult your dermatologists to know which cream or soap will suit your skin the best.

    • Use a face scrub to exfoliate twice a week.

    • Use a pumice stone to exfoliate the skin at the feet and remove the dry and wrinkly skin.

    • Use moisturizer without fail during the monsoon season. Avoid heavy creams.

    • Use a toner every time you wash your face. This will help restore the skin pH.

    • Apply sunscreen on the skin before stepping out. Use spray kind of sunscreen in monsoons and reapply frequently.

    • Monsoons are the best weather for chemical peels. Peels are the excellent way to bring life to your dull skin. In monsoons there is no sun exposure and the risk of sensitivity is low. Consult your dermatologists for the right peel for your skin.

    Follow the above steps and enjoy the monsoons fully with a healthy and happy skin.

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