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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Dos and don'ts to prepare you for monsoon

Shweta Mehta, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 05, 2012
First Published: 12:20 IST(5/6/2012) | Last Updated: 15:55 IST(5/6/2012)

It's that time of the year when Mumbaikars keep eagerly looking towards the heavens, waiting for the monsoons. But if you aren't adequately prepared for it, you could face a number of health problems. Here's a guide to help prepare for the rainy season.

Skin
Humidity is the key reason behind breakouts during the monsoon. Dr Geetanjali Shetty, consulting dermatologist, Neutrogena, shares a skincare routine to follow:

Cleanse well: Use a deep-cleansing agent that removes oil and dirt without stripping away any natural moisture. Use a medicated cleanser that contains salicylic acid.

Representative pic

Moisturise:
Monsoons can have a dehydrating effect on dry skin and an excessive-hydrating effect on oily skin making it prone to acne. Use a non-oily moisturiser and soaps that contain glycerine. Drink plenty of water.

Sun protection: Apply sunscreen as in the rainy season, 90 per cent of sunrays penetrate clouds and are more concentrated, even though we are not directly exposed to the sun. Use a water-based one 20-30 minutes before going out.

Eliminate blackheads: Humidity makes the skin more prone to clogged pores. Use a face wash that contains salicylic acid as it's a good exfoliant. Follow it up with an alcohol-free toner. Do not try to remove them on your own as you may end up with marks or infecting yourself.

Make-up: Use only water-based non-clogging mineral make-up when needed.

Fungal infection: Avoid contact with dirty water as far as possible. Wear open sandals to let your feet dry easily.
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Hair
Celebrity hairstylist Savio John Pereira recommends a Keratin Blowout to ensure hair that looks good and behaves well irrespective of the season. "Braids are back in a big way, so if the frizz in your hair doesn't ease, knot your hair in an interesting way," he says. Here are some of his tips to tackle hair's biggest enemy during the rain - frizz. 

* Use an anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner. Use a leave-in conditioner or a serum or both.
* Opt for a partial hair-relaxing treatment for unruly hair, maybe around your hairline, crown or fringe.
* Use Moroccan oil to prevent dryness.
* The more moisture your hair gets, the lesser it will frizz, so indulge in moisturising hair spas.
* To get your hair party-ready, wash it a day in advance. It always behaves better the next day.

Wardrobe
Investing in a good pair of wellies (gumboots) and a nice raincoat is a must, insists Sonya Vajifdar. Her new collection is glamorous and has transparent trenches and ponchos. Vajifdar's custom-made rainwear starts from Rs. 3,000 for kids and Rs. 6,000 for adults.

The range includes raincoats for work and night outs, besides the casual designs. As for clothing, she suggests pushing denim to the back of your closet. "Jeans stay wet for a long period of time," she explains. "Go for lighter fabrics and bright colours to help lighten your mood on a dreary monsoon day."

Diet
The rainy season means extra care with eating habits. Dr Amrapali Patil offers some tips:

* Avoid juices, golas or other items sold by street vendors.
* Eat raw fruits and vegetables only after washing them with clean potable water and peeling them. Avoid pre-cut fruits or salads made outside.
* Avoid seafood.
* Consume only pasteurised dairy products.
* Use clean eggs with intact shells.
* Foods from cans or packets that are leaking or bulging should be safely discarded.
* Cut down on fried snacks.

Health
A number of diseases are in the air during monsoons. "Malaria, dengue and chikungunya are spread by mosquitoes, while contaminated water and food are responsible for diarrhoea, dysentery, food poisoning and hepatitis. Damp weather and getting wet in the rain can also cause common colds and flues," says nutritionist Dr Rekha Gonsalves.

"During monsoon, the digestive system becomes weak, so the body is highly susceptible to infections," warns Dr Amrapali Patil, CEO, Trim N Tone The Obesity Clinic. Here's her checklist to keep you healthy through the monsoons:

* Diabetic patients need to take extra care of their feet during the monsoons and should not walk barefoot as the soil contains all types of germs during the rains. A sesame oil massage helps, post which the feet should be protected with comfortable footwear. 
* Asthmatic patients should ensure that there is no accumulation and seepage of water in their house, and that fungus does not grow on furniture.
* Malaria can be avoided by getting rid of stagnant water. If such water can't be gotten rid of, treat it by sprinkling vegetable oil or kerosene.
* Leptospirosis is a disease that results from wading through monsoon water infected or inflicted by the excreta of rodents. Wear protective footwear like gumboots.


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