Articles on monsoon

Monsoon Care for Children

Dr. Rahul Varma, Pediatrician
Monsoon care for your little ones can be a little tricky. You know, in summers; we need to keep them cool and refreshed. Just keep them hydrated and dress them up in cotton, and you're sorted! Similarly, during winters, we know that we need to keep them warm, and keep them well dressed in woolen clothes, and you're done. But when it comes to monsoons, you may need a little guidance on how to take care of your children during this season.Frequent hand washing is the single most important step in preventing spread of Infection.Avoid sudden change in temperature , as it can lead to Viral infections like cough and cold. eg. children many a time after playing outdoor, all in sweat, come inside and sit directly in front of AC and drink cold water.Monsoon season means that there's going to humidity and dampness in the air, and as a result an increase in chances of Skin infections (Bacterial as well as fungal infections). So you need to take care of your baby while keeping in mind these two points. So, of course, bathing them regularly, that too with a mild antiseptic soap is of utmost importance. And at the same time, keeping them dry is also necessary as babies sweat frequently during the humid weather of monsoon. So you can keep wiping them and use a nice talcum powder to keep their skin dry. Monsoons also leads to a lot of water borne diseases. In such a scenario, make sure that you give your baby clean germ free water ; either by boiling the water or give RO water from your purifier. In fact even while giving them formula milk or supplements, make sure to prepare them with boiled water. Keeping them away from mosquito and other insects is also very important as a lot of insects and mosquitoes breed in monsoons due to the dirty rain water. Dress your babies in light material, yet in full sleeved clothes. Also use mosquito repellents and nets to keep your baby safe from mosquitoes and insect bites. You can always check with your pediatrician for any special vaccinations required for the baby during monsoons (eg. consider annual FLU vaccine). And because a baby's immunity is weaker than ours, it's advisable not to take them out for long duration during the rainy season. And needless to say, keep them away from people who have cold or flu. Keeping overall cleanliness in your house and surroundings is also very important to keep yourself and your baby fit and fine during the rainy season.Remember " Healthy Kids, Happy Family"

Common Skin Problems During Monsoon

Dr. Vaishalee Kirane, Dermatologist
Monsoon showers have arrived to give us respite from the sweltering summer heat and hope the rain Gods bless us with a good rainy season.  At the cost of dampening the lovely monsoon weather spirit, it rests upon us Dermatologists to highlight few skin problems commonly occurring during these rainy months, but hope to end it on a pleasant note by adding some useful skin care tips.Since summer itself, we start experiencing humid and sweaty climate. Skin folds of the body, like in between the toes, being occluded, get subjected to hot, humid and sweaty environment.Additional factors which can aggravate are:Not maintaining proper hygiene like daily baths and regular washing of the feet and keeping them dry. Wearing shoes and socks regularly for many hours subjects the feet to being occluded and to moist, sweaty and warm conditions. Shoes and socks made of non-breathable synthetic material would not absorb the sweat properly and result in sweat retention in the skin of the feet.Wearing tight synthetic clothes will similarly not allow the skin to breathe or the sweat to evaporate. Exposing the hands and feet constantly to water, like in housemaids or farmers. Obesity, Diabetes or other Immuno-compromised conditions, skin-to-skin contact or sharing of clothes with anyone having skin infections will increase the risksSo what problems does the skin show?Skin folds and more commonly the feet suffer from irritation and itchy rash and infections by fungus and/or bacteria. The infection can even spread to others either by skin contact or through shared things.How do we prevent these ?Maintain regular proper hygiene and keep skin fold area dry by using anti-fungal powder to absorb the sweat.Wear open footwear like chappals of breathable material, cotton socks and loose cotton clothes.Treat other medical conditions like diabetes.All afflicted individuals in the family should take treatment at the same time to avoid transferring their infection to one another.Avoid sharing of clothes or towels.Anti-fungal or anti-bacterial medicines prescribed by the Dermatologist need to be followed for the entire course for full resolution of infection and to decrease the risk of recurrence.For problem of excessive sweating, anti-perspirant lotions can be used once the skin heals.So here’s praying for a good monsoon and hoping to also have a healthy good skin.

Monsoon Mania on Your Health

Dr. Shashank Kumar Srivastav, General Practitioner
Finally some respite from the heat, time for the colourful umbrellas, waterproof bags and raincoats to come out of the closet. While the monsoons usher in cooler, rain-drenched days, it also increases the capacity for bacterial infection in one's body. Cold, cough, sore throat, viral fever, allergies, diarrhoea, dengue, Swine flu and malaria are the common problems that affect people during this season. 3 types of Infections that Commonly affect and make us ill:1. Mosquito-borne diseases: This season, people are prone to mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever and avian influenza or Bird Flu (H5N1). Malaria being lethal, if left untreated. A spell of Bird Flu (H5N1) can cause severe joint pains, which can last for weeks and months. Dengue fever can also be very serious in certain cases where drop in platelet count makes the prognosis poor. However, early detection and treatment can help one recover faster from dengue.2. Air-borne diseases: Air-borne viral infections are often mild and can cause minor infections in adults. However, senior citizens and young children are more vulnerable to these infections and need to take proper care. Viral infections usually present as high grade fever with common cold and cough. The temperature is markedly between 101 degree F - 104 degree F. The only management in this is rest, paracetamol in guided doses of your physician and people can also take antibiotics which will not treat viral infection but will help in prophylaxis to prevent secondary bacterial infections. It's also said that taking plenty of fluids and hot water bath could help has viruses are sensitive to hot water.3. Water-borne diseases: Moulds growing on humid surfaces including your clothes and moist areas of the skin, can also be dangerous during the season. However, mould-induced infections are often mild in nature and can be treated easily. Prevention is always better than cure:One must drink only clean water and use boiled water or water purifiers.One should change their hand towels after a day's use.You can also use an alcohol gel product available over the counter, which is also effective in protecting against flu. One should cover their mouth and nose with a handkerchief while coughing or sneezing or use your arm pits in case you don't carry with you handkerchief.Use mosquito repellents and nets (dengue transmitting mosquitoes usually bite during day time; either early morning or late evening).One should keep their wet and soggy clothes or shoes away from dry garments.Avoid eating out and consume as much fresh food as possible.Drink warm water every two hours and carry home-boiled water while travelling.Avoid visiting crowded places such as theatres or exhibitions.Use hand sanitisers while travelling.Cover your nose while travelling on a bike/while seated next to the window in a bus or train.Avoid getting wet in the rain. Approach your physician for any ill health , avoid taking medications at the counter of pharmacy.Prevention for kids:Parents must keep their children away from those with infectious illnesses while playing with friends in the neighbourhood or at school.Parents should also ensure that their child's nails are always clean to prevent accumulation of germs and dirt; to ensure proper washing of hands and legs and provide nutritious food with a balanced diet. Keep your child indoors during the  rain as it contains acidic elements which can cause skin problems. It is advised to keep young kids and infants inside during the rain or during monsoon season as young children tend to fall sick frequently during this season. Kids should be kept away from rain till the weather stabilises.Parents should take care of themselves so that they don't transmit their virus or infection to their children. The treatment:Infections during the monsoon usually start with tonsillitis, cold and cough and gradually spread to the rest of the body. Symptoms of viral fever are body and muscle pain, headache, joint pain, redness of eyes, skin rash and nasal congestion. Some people also experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. The treatment of viral fever is entirely symptomatic and it usually comes down after four or five days. Here are some home remedies for viral symptoms:Adequate hydration by drinking lot of liquids. Antipyretics and analgesics for fever and body pain. Steam inhalation for nasal congestion and sinus pain. Salt water gargle for sore throat.To keep in mind: Avoid self medication with antibiotics. Though it is highly contagious, the chances of it turning life-threatening are quite rare. If symptoms are severe or long lasting, visit your doctor to rule out any bacterial infection. Take a booster every year.

Eye Care in the Monsoon

Dr. Hasanain Shikari, Ophthalmologist
After the heat of the summer, the monsoon is a welcome relief. Yet, the rains bring with them a host of bacteria, viruses and allergens, many of which disturb our delicate eye equilibrium. Let us identify the main eye-related complaints and then establish some easy tips to maintain your eye health this monsoon.Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is the inflammation of the outermost layer of the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid. This can be caused by irritants like dirt, bacterial or viral infections or may be allergic.Eye Allergies are also known as allergic conjunctivitis.  These are non-infectious and may be seasonal. It leads to red, watery or itchy eyes.Stye (Sty) is usually recognized as a “pimple” on the eyelid. Its an inflamed swelling on the edge of the eyelid and is usually due to bacterial infection.Personal hygiene is important. Prevention is better than cure!Some Eye Care Tips- Keep your eyes clean. Do not rub your eyes with dirty hands, or rather, do not rub your eyes at all.- Maintain hygiene. Wash your hands frequently. Wash your eyes with cold water 2-3 times a day.- Do not share personal items like towels with anyone.- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, especially while traveling.- Avoid getting wet in the rain or swimming in the monsoon. This can aggravate existing eye inflammation.- Eat healthy foods. This should include fresh fruits and vegetables. Anti-oxidants will boost your immune system.- Do not self-medicate or use medications given by pharmacists.Go for an eye check-up to an eye specialist if you have symptoms.Healthy diet, healthy body

Home Remedies for Skin Care During Monsoon

Dr. Sharad Kulkarni, Ayurveda
Monsoons are once again here to treat us with their immense beauty! You know the petrichor, pleasant weather all over, awesome snacks, and more! Doesn't all this define monsoon for all of us? But along with its beauty, monsoon also brings skin troubles for a lot of us. There's lots of humidity in the air, it often feels sticky all over, and depending on your skin type, monsoon could spell trouble for you. While there are different kinds of products available in the market to take care of your skin during monsoon; we do realize there are a ton of people out there who are hesitant in using such products. You know, chemicals and what not! So, in such a scenario, we think it's a totally cool idea and of course, apt, to use home remedies for your skin care during monsoon. What exactly are these home remedies which actually work? Let's try and find out, shall we! Let's start with common sense first - Try to limit the number of times you wash your face to two or three times a day. Why? Because the more you wash your face, the more it'll produce oil and your skin will become stickier. Also, use warm water to wash your face as it dissolves skin oil better than old water. You can use home-made mud pack, with gram flour and raw milk/butter to keep your skin fresh and glowing.In case you have dry skin, using a moisturizer becomes all the more important for you during monsoons. In fact, use a cream based moisturizer for better results, followed by an alcohol-free toner. Also, you can use a mix of glycerine and rose water, and apply daily to keep your skin soft and supple.And in case you have a combination skin, not only cleaning and moisturizing, but scrubbing also becomes equally important for you. So, people with combination skin need to take a little extra effort to keep your skin healthy.       

5 Tips to Protect Your Eyes This Monsoon

Dr. Vishal Arora, Ophthalmologist
It’s raining heavily this monsoon. Rain brings relief to the population but is also responsible for various food and water borne diseases. Eye conditions common during the monsoons are:1. Bacterial conjunctivitis2. Viral conjunctivitis3. AllergyThese conditions commonly cause redness in the eye, clear watery or muddy or purulent discharge from the eye. Eye infections cause the lids to be covered with discharge, particularly when one wakes up in the morning. Eye itching and foreign body sensation (feeling that something is there in the eye) is also commonly reported by the patients.Eye redness, watery or mucoid discharge is commonly seen in conjunctivitis.You can protect your eyes by1. Maintaining ocular hygiene: Don't touch or rub the affected eye. Use disposable tissues to wipe off the overflowing discharge or tears.2. Avoid smoke, sun, dusty environment3. Avoiding contact with a person already affected:  As a courtesy, it’s better to shift to Namaste, rather than the routine handshake or hug.4. Limiting the spread of infection: Stay away from public places and children as they are more vulnerable to infections.5. Hand washing with soap and water: Simple hand wash with soap and water can reduce the infectious load by 99 percent. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer works fast, but is not effective against viruses.Visit your ophthalmologist if you develop symptoms so that appropriate therapy is started at the earliest.

Monsoon Guidelines for Your Health!

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Okay so in the interest of full disclosure, meal guidelines through the monsoon don’t vary much from meal guidelines through the year. But because we take requests and suggestions as seriously as we do, a quick checklist for you for this season:Summertime is behind us (thank God!) which means that you won’t be feeling as thirsty as you did a few months ago. This means you could go without drinking water for several hours and feel ‘normal’ but please don’t do that. Thirst signals don’t work the same way as hunger signals do. Thus, best to keep sipping water continually through the day (but you knew this already)Our immunity (or the immunity of a select few) does go for a bit of a joyride. To counter this, you need your daily dose of mid-meal fruits and the fresh, homemade sabzis with your roti. Fruits and vegetables provide us with antioxidants and act as anti-inflammatory agents which help kick infections and flus (but you knew this already as well)Finally decent weather for a nice homemade soup with a dash of garlic. The West essentially worships garlic for it’s immunity boosting, anti-bacterial and cholesterol lowering properties (probably didn’t know this)Monsoon brings with it a queasy stomach. To soothe the tummy, have some homemade yogurt and eat meals which are light and easy to digest. For instance, khichdi with kadhi, rice with daal, pulao with raita to name only 3.Okay, so you can’t go outdoors for a run/jog/bicycle ride and swimming isn’t really an option either. But don’t use monsoon as an excuse to skimp on your workouts. I don’t need to tell you this but you have ample indoor options too. Right?The culture of eating fried foods during monsoon came about from the fact that the act of frying kills all the germs from the food. So enjoy your fried treats once in a while during the season–but homemade please.Sorry to end on a slightly unpleasant note but there are train delays, endless traffic jams and commuter woes. Thus, ensure you have ample emergency power foods in your bag/purse for these situationsP.S. This is not an exhaustive list. Do you have anything to add?Stay dry and enjoy the rains while you can!

Some Basic Tips for Skin Care This Monsoon

Dr. Pradnya Shastri, Dermatologist
“Rain on the green grass,Rain on the trees,Rain on the rooftops,But not a drop on me!”This monsoon reminded me of this nursery rhyme and made me laugh! Love or hate the rains... there is no way anyone can say, “Not a drop on me!” For those who love the rains it’s been a heck of a pouring joyful week. And for those who don’t really have congenialfeelings for the rains... well they must be sopping wet and sopping angry! No matter the raincoats, the umbrella, the metros or even your luxurious A/C cars... you get wet. And at times drenchingwet!And love or no love for the rains... many who get wet, eventually get skin trouble!Itching, dry skin, rashes? Did I remind you of last monsoon?How would you like to know that you could actually reduce or even alleviate your skin troubles this monsoon?Like the idea?Here are a few tips you could try to keep your skin troubles at bay:1.      DRY SKINDespite the season being a wet season the skin tends to get dry. Every time the rain hits your skin, it washes off the NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACTOR (NMF) off of your skin. The skin seems fine as long as it’s wet, but as soon you dry yourself or enter an AC room the dreaded itch starts and the next you know you have transformed into a mangy dog.TIPS TO PREVENT DRY SKINa. Try to apply a nice layer of coconut oil (NOT almond or olive or mustard) 10 to 15 minutes before you take a bath.b. A hot water shower after a getting wet in the mucky rain water is all that one dreams of isn’t it? But that is where the skin NMF again goes for a toss. The hot water tends to wash off this factor. So, not only apply coconut oil before abath but make sure you are using ‘lukewarm’ water and not hot water to clean yourself.c. The type of soaps and body washes you use also make a big difference. The more they lather the more they leave your skin dry. In addition, loofah is a skin’s worst enemy. Even  normal skin tends to get hurt after using a loofah, so imagine what happens to dry skin. So avoid using them. Using a ‘Sulphate free Soap’ or even a ‘Syndet’ where the pH of the soaps are same as the skin helps in maintaining that essential layer of moisturizing and helps keep the skin supple.d. Another important and basic rule is to DAB THE WATER off your body... NOT WIPE IT. Therubbing action scrapes off the healthy skin layer along with the NMF. And we need that layer of skin and NMF!!e. The battle will now be won for most of you but to add to the positive effects make a habit of applying a good moisturizer after you have stepped out of the shower and once even before going to bed. This reinforces the moisture in the skin and prevents it from getting dry too quickly.2.      ITCHING AND A RASHA lot of people (especially the office goers) develop either fungal (ringworm/candidiasis) infections oreven miliaria (prickly heat) in this season. This happens almost always because of wet clothes and increasedhumidity. People start getting itching on the back and neck (miliaria) and in the groins (fungal infections). Some tend to get fungal infections in the web spaces (candidiasis) because of wearing wet and soaked shoes. Once anyonedevelops a rash or an itch a visit to a dermatologist becomes inevitable. But that can be prevented. Here is how:TIPS TO PREVENT ITCHING AND RASH:a. Use a rain coat instead of an umbrella. That keeps your clothes dry than an umbrella would.b. Despite all efforts you will still get wet. Make sure that you are carrying an extra pair of clothes as well as undergarments or keep them in your office. Change your clothes the moment you reach office. This will not only prevent a skin problem but will also protect you from catching a cold.c. Keep extra shoes and socks in your office. You anyway can’t wear you expensive leather shoes in the rains... so wear your boots or floaters to office and change there! That will prevent the infections of the feet (fungal and bacterial). In addition, your feet won’t end up smelling like rotten eggs!3.      FACE CARELike the body, the face also bears the brunt of being constantly wet. Here are some basic tips that you could follow and see if they help:a. Do not constantly wash your face with clean water just because it got wet by the rain water. The more you wash it, the more it gets dry (in dry skinned individuals) and oily (in oily skinned individuals). b. If your face does get wet, then DAB the water with your handkerchief or a tissue paper. Do not wipe the water.c. Diligently DON’T USE WET WIPES! The alcohol content in them further denudes your skin of the NMF and thus leads to severe rashes.d. Unlike the moisturizer that you would use for the body (a thicker one), use a lighter, non-comedogenic moisturizing lotion (not cream) for the face. For all those lovely ladies who wear makeup, make sure your skin is moisturized before you have applied your foundation. e. Using a sunscreen isn't a bad option either (especially for those with dry skin). Even though there is no direct sunlight, the UV rays do pass through the clouds. So, try making these simple changes in your basic skin care routine! You should be able to see a difference. And those who don’t, then off you go to the dermatologist.I personally love this season. It’s green everywhere, the temperatures are cooler and I feel people seem more happy....  contagiously happy!I can’t help but quote Bob Marley here, “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

Hair Care in Monsoon

Dr. Sadhana Deshmukh, Dermatologist
It is hard to take a good care of hair in the rainy season as the hair remains moist for a long time. Even after a shower, it takes really long to dry due to humid climate. Today, we will give you a few hair care tips for monsoon. Make a note and care your hair as much you do for your face.Certain scalp conditions, like fungal and bacterial infections and eczemas, become more prevalent during the monsoon, because of constant exposure to warm and humid atmosphere.The scalp is a unique environment – dark, warm, and moist. It is also a good place for micro-organisms to grow as sebum (sweat) and dead skin cells serve as its “nutritional” sources. Another factor that fuels trouble is potential friction or injury caused by brushing and styling. It’s no surprise then that dandruff is so common, everywhere. While monsoons may reportedly increase the chances of dandruff, the basic causes and tips for removing those dreaded flakes are the same – no matter what time of year. The fungus, Malassezia, is the microbe on your scalp that causes the irritation associated with dandruff. Everyone has it. It is a normal part of the scalp and is impossible to get rid of. Scalp oils, or sebum, are broken down by the fungus to produce smaller materials, called fatty acids. These fatty acids have been shown to be irritating to some people. It is this irritation that causes dandruff flakes and all of the other symptoms, like itching and dryness. The final factor is the individual’s skin irritation potential. Some people are quite sensitive to fatty acids, while others are not. This can range from severe dandruff and mild to severe flaking to little or severe itching.It has been reported that more cases of dandruff occur during summer. This is due to the fact that the fungus involved in dandruff may grow at an alarming rate in warm temperatures. However, the monsoon season, which offers a change in climatic conditions, can also encourage the growth of these microscopic organisms.Treat with careTreating dandruff for some people is a year-long reality. Those with high seasonal experiences, especially during monsoons, should treat their hair more carefully.Use an effective anti-dandruff shampoo with an active ingredient like zinc pyrithione, which attacks fungus and keeps it in check, regularly. This also helps reduce the tell-tale flakesNo switching between a cosmetic formulation and an anti-dandruff product! This reduces the effectiveness of anti-fungal actives and could leave you with flakes and bad odour. Zinc pyrithione, which is odourless, provides conditioning.Cut down on styling and styling products, as they may also attract dirt and grime during monsoons. Brush and comb gently, so as not to cause scalp damage. Remember to dry hair completely before leaving the house. It is important to keep the scalp dry, so, avoid stepping out when it's raining-even. In case your hair gets wet,make sure you wash it thoroughly with a mild cleanser and use a conditioner thereafter.Regular washes keep the fungus in check and reduce the sebum on your scalp. In addition to playing a role in dandruff, sebum also attracts dirt, dust, and pollution to your hair, making it look dull, weak, dried out and brittle.Conditioning your hair becomes twice as important during this season. If you have sticky hair; just opt for a light conditioner that is suited for limp, oily hair. The trick is to pick the right product. The conditioner should be applied to the hair ends and not on scalp. Application on scalp can cause increase in dandruff especially in monsoon.Arm yourself well in advance with products that suit your hair type. Don't just buy products off the shelf, driven by enticing advertisements. It may require a few test-runs but once you have found 'the one', stick to it. A lot of people have a combination hair-scalp type: for instance, the scalp is greasy but the hair is dry. In such a case, opt for a mild cleansing shampoo-one than removes the grime without drying the hair. Another common complaint during monsoon is frizziness. A good serum can help tame unruly hair, giving you a smoother finish.

Skin Care During Monsoon

Dr. Bhavesh Shah, Dermatologist
During the monsoon season, the humidity can seem unbearable. But, did you know it can also cause a multitude of skin problems? Read on to get your dermatologist’s guide to treating your skin during the humid season!Problem #1: AcneGetting tons of zits this season? You are not alone. The summer heat and humidity makes skin much more likely to break out. Essentially, all that sweat clogs up your pores, giving you those unsightly whiteheads and blackheads!How to treat it?First of all, change your skin care products! Look for a face wash that contains Salicylic Acid but also balances your skin’s pH. And, wash your face no more than twice a day to avoid over drying your skin. Second, look for products that are non-comedogenic, meaning that those lotions do not have any ingredients that clog your pores. Finally, go to your dermatologist who will prescribe you a medication to treat your acne, so that you have clear skin this summer!Problem #2: Heat RashIn the monsoons, many will get red bumps that rapidly erupt on your chest and back. This is basic heat rash or miliaria. Essentially, the sweat glands become obstructed leading to this red rash.How to treat it?Most importantly, make sure you keep your body dry. Wear fabrics such as cotton that help wick away moisture so that your skin does not get greasy or sweaty. And, make sure you immediately bathe and change your clothes after you exercise. To treat it, usually a gentle pH-balanced antiseptic body wash will do the trick. Usually it will contain benzoyl peroxide or triclosan, and it should be used once daily. In case your heat rash does not resolve, your dermatologist will prescribe  gentle medicine to get rid of your skin issues.Problem #3: Fungal Skin InfectionsDuring the hot and humid weather, fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete’s foot affect many men, women and children. Ringworm is extremely common, particularly during these summer months. It usually starts as a small itchy circular rash that can occur anywhere on the body or the scalp. And, it will spread if not treated! You get this from sharing items, clothes or touching an infected person, or even from swimming in a pool or from infected soil.Athlete’s foot is another problem in itself. This unfortunate condition is both smelly and uncomfortable. This infection causes a red, scaly, moist and itchy rash that starts between the toes and grows to cover the entire sole of the foot. Since this fungus flourishes in sweaty conditions, the summer monsoon is an ideal time for it to grow. It is contagious and is often transmitted by walking barefoot in gyms or outside in the soil.How to treat it?Luckily, these conditions are easily treated. The first step is prevention. Make sure to keep your body and feet dry. Shower twice a day, wear cotton clothes that wick away excess moisture, and consider using powder to soak up excess sweat. Also, wear chappals and sandals whenever walking around in common gym areas or at home. And, remove sweaty socks immediately, and wear open sandals as much as possible to air out your feet. The last step is treatment. These infections must be treated by topical or oral antifungals. So, go to your dermatologist to get your prescription so you can be ringworm-free and free of athlete’s foot in less than 8 weeks.Dr Bhavesh Shah