While the monsoons bring a welcome respite from summer heat, they also pose a lot of challenges to healthy skin. The heat-induced rashes of summertime give way to the humidity-induced problems of the rainy season. If you are health-conscious and take a few simple precautions, you can save yourself a lot of misery over bad skin.
The biggest skin complaint during the monsoon has to be fungal infections. A fungus thrives in humidity -- wet skin folds rubbing against each other get macerated easily, providing easy entry to fungi and yeast. As a result, you develop itchy, circular, reddish, flaking patches on the body, especially in skin folds at the groin (Jock Itch), underarms and around the breast in women.
Fungal infections can also affect your feet, especially if you wear closed shoes all day. Staying dry is the best way to avoid them. Carry a set of dry clothes and footwear to the office and change immediately if you've gotten drenched on your way.
Once you are seated at your desk, take your shoes and socks off to allow air circulation around your feet. Wear sandals or floaters as far as possible. Use plenty of dusting talc to prevent accumulation of sweat and moisture in skin folds. Those prone to repeated fungal infections can use medicated powders like Absorb, Mycoderm etc.
Scabies is another common infection that preys on both children and adults during the monsoon -- it is caused by a mite infestation. If your child complains about a body itch that intensifies at night and you see a few red bumps or a rash on his/her hands, wrists, underarms, abdomen, groin and buttocks, then rush to the dermatologist -- this condition is highly contagious and invariably spreads to the family if not treated properly.
Sickly, dull, oily-looking skin is common during the rainy season. Nondescript itching also occurs occasionally. A few additional tips on how to keep your complexion glowing:
Use a face scrub twice a week to exfoliate.
Avoid heavy moisturising creams or oily foundations and cream-based colour makeup. Use a light mousse or a matte compact or simply a few drops of calamine lotion as a makeup base.
A facewash containing alpha hydroxyl acid (like Ahaglow) helps to freshen the skin, but do not use it more than once a day.
Use a toner each time you wash your face to close the pores and restore your skin's pH balance.