Enjoy Holi with care

Apply Vaseline or petroleum jelly on your elbows and knees in advance
healthy soch
New Delhi, March 16, 2019 :

The sound of word Holi makes you visualize beautiful rainbow colors which make you feel happy. The festival of Holi brings happiness, enthusiasm and joy on one hand and the problem of taking off colors on the other.

The chemicals in artificial colors are harmful and cause various problems like skin disorders, discoloration, contact dermatitis, abrasion, irritation, itching, and dryness. Harsh chemicals in Holi colors can also cause itching and rashes that can lead to eczemas upon scratching, which is the most common type of skin reaction.

To remove color, don’t scrub your skin excessively; it can only lead to blisters, rashes or allergic reactions. Instead, rinse your body in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes till the color drains off by itself.  A mild cleanser should be used than using harsh soaps. A natural home cleanser like milk and gram flour can also work well for your body. After you have cleaned your skin thoroughly and stepped out of the shower, dry the skin gently with a soft towel and apply a nourishing moisturizer all over your body. In case of redness or blisters, calamine lotion can be applied. Wear soft cotton clothes to let your skin breathe.

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Prevention is better than cure. A few precautions should be taken before you step out to enjoy the colors of Holi:

  • Wear thick clothes which cover up as much of your body as possible — that way, if you’re subjected to anything which has the potential to irritate your skin, it may not penetrate and sensitive skin areas will be protected.
  • Apply Suns screen or baby oil– A thick layer of sunscreen or baby oil will form a protective coating on the skin, which makes it difficult for colors and water to penetrate. Also, this will help in taking out colors easily after you’re done.
  • Use reds or pinks — shade which can be removed easily — instead of blacks, grays, purples and oranges. The latter take time to fade off the skin.
  • Apply Vaseline or petroleum jelly on your elbows and knees in advance — nails, particularly, look most unsightly if the color gets into their grooves and it’s almost impossible to get them squeaky clean after.
  • Use a lip balm to protect your lips from getting stained.
  • Use organic colors to keep your skin safe from the harmful chemicals in artificial colors. Not only are organic colors more skin friendly, they are also more environmental friendly!

The author of this article is Dr. R K Joshi, Senior Consultant, Dermatology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals

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