Radiant in rains: Combat monsoon acne
Overcast skies, rumbling clouds, flashes of lightning and the pitter-patter of raindrops — the Indian monsoon has its own charm. But along with the downpour comes a barrage of skin problems for many.
A common skin concern during the rainy season is worsened acne, attributed mainly to the increased humidity in the air. This is especially true for people with acne-prone or combination skin. The damp and humid air is full of bacteria and allergens that can clog the skin pores, causing acne and breakouts. “Excessive humidity makes the skin swell up in the monsoon, and that impairs the skin barrier making one prone to allergies, particularly in the form of eczemas,” says dermatologist Dr Rajat Kandhari.
Apart from excessive humidity, it’s also the time when fungal infections rear their ugly head. “Generally, during monsoon, the tendency to develop fungal infections is high. This is because fungus grows well in moist environments. During the rainy season, clothes take longer to dry, and if partially wet clothes are worn there’s a high chance of getting fungal infections,” says Dr Subodh Sirur, consultant dermatologist, Masina Hospital. The humid weather and mild temperatures make it an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive. Excessive perspiration during the season irritates the skin, leading to rapid fungi growth resulting in acne.
So how do these allergies develop? “We’re exposed to many substances/agents in our day-to-day life. Most of these are usually harmless. But for some people, their immune systems react more to the substances. Their body views these foreign proteins as something harmful and triggers the formation of antibodies and later produces chemical substances which cause the allergy,” explains Dr Sirur.
The most commonly occurring skin problems in this weather include rashes and eczema. “The rash is usually red and itchy, which can make the skin bleed, and also lead to bacterial infection. Athlete’s foot is another common skin concern during monsoon. It’s a fungal infection that occurs between the toenails and around the lower feet area. This can cause a lot of dryness, itchiness and also some discolouration,” says Rukshmani Thakkar, technical head (skin) ENRICH.
Yashna Garg, CMO, Zeon Lifescience shares pointers to identify another common monsoon-related skin issue. “Fungal nail infection is quite common. People may recognise this infection by spotting discolouration and thickening of their nails, or having brittle nails. This condition may cause pain and even give off a foul odour,” she says.
The high humidity and weather can also intensify existing skin rashes. Dermatologist Dr Sirisha Singh, says, “Due to humid weather, for some, the skin goes dry. This increases the chances of getting allergic skin rashes to fragrances and artificial jewellery too.”
With monsoon here to stay a little longer this year, it is important to take care of your skin to avoid these.
Keep your skin woes at bay
“The best way to keep your skin healthy is to ensure it is well-moisturised. Use a body lotion as per your skin type. Avoid a heavy lotion during monsoon season,” advises Thakkar. Go for a lotion which has soothing properties such as aloe vera, chamomile, and lavender.
“Do not rub the infected or itchy area. If your rash is dry, use unscented moisturiser, unscented soaps or just a baby soap,” says Dr Pankhuri Bhadauria, dermatologist.
“Do not cover up the affected area of the skin with band-aid. Instead, allow the rash to breathe, and avoid using hot water. Use cold water or ice compression,” suggests Dr Bhadauria.
“Acne primarily happens due to deposition of oil and dirt in your skin besides some medical conditions. Follow a proper CTM routine. Exfoliate your skin, moisturize it and apply serum before sleeping. It can serve the purpose. If the problem is more rooted then contact a dermatologist,” says Hanisha Kapoor, COO, Archies beauty.
Watch your diet. Have a balanced diet with less masala and spices. Include lots of dry fruits, fruits, fish and leafy vegetables in your meals daily. Also, keep yourself hydrated.
For any medical skin concerns like fungal infections and eczema, one must use only prescribed ointment and avoid any over-the-counter fragrant lotion to heal faster.
“Rosewater is an excellent natural toner that you can rely upon. Most importantly though, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated,” adds Shahnaz Husain, Chief Managing Director, Shahnaz Husain and Group.
“CTM- Cleansing, toning and moisturising is the best. Also, these days there is so much stress due to the pandemic and its unprecedented challenges. It’s good to take care of the skin as we are staying home most of the time. You just need to shop online and get the bright, glowing, flawless skin during monsoon,” adds Kapoor.