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Last year, Kiran Juneja, a 27-year-old bank employee went to play Holi with her friends. Little did she know that this would be one of the worse experiences she would face while enjoying the festival of colours. Since I have a fair complexion and a clear skin most of my friends tried to smear colour all over my face and it was not the organic one. There were grease and other chemicals mixed with the colours which led to eczema. My skin began to itch and got inflamed. There were blisters and flaking of skin which was really dreadful. She needed a week long specialised treatment from a dermatologist to get rid of the symptoms and get her clear skin back.
Remember, Kiran is not the only one to suffer the after-effects of Holi. In fact, Dr Nivedita Dadu, Dermatologist from Skinology Skin and Hair Clinic receives loads of skin problem complain right after Holi each year. The regular colours are made up of engine oil, diesel, acids, mica, glass powder and alkalis which damage the skin very badly. Apart from that, it also causes serious injuries like eczema, redness, blisters, extreme redness and flaking of skin. It is best to take precaution during Holi to minimise these effects, she says.
Here are some tips from Dr Dadu to play a safe and healthy Holi.
1. Stay hydrated: Drink gallons of water, juices, etc., before and during the festival. Dehydration causes your skin to dry out which makes it easier for the harsh chemicals of the regular colour seep into your skin.
2. Never forget to oil your hair: This is a must do. Oil your hair at least 30 minutes before you start playing. Coconut and olive oil are best options to protect your hair from harsh colours. Oil your hair from scalp to the roots. Else, cover your head with a thick scarf or bandana.
3. Don t forget the unseen parts: Always remember to apply some oil to your ears, earlobes and nails as these are the parts where the Holi colour settles.
4. Avoid the hot sun: Especially, if you have colours all over your face and body. Be more careful if they are the regular ones loaded with chemicals and not organic. The heat makes the colours stronger and difficult to wash off. Instead, sit in a shade even if you are outdoors.
5. Be safe with colours: If you are not using organic colours make sure your choice of colour is safe and less harmful. Use more of red or pink colours, which can be easily taken off. Gaudy ones like purple, green, yellow and orange have more harmful chemicals in them and should be avoided.
6. Don t forget sunscreen: Wear waterproof sunscreen before you step out for a day in the sun make sure your sunscreen has, at least, SPF 30 or more.
7. Wear the right clothes: Try to cover most parts of your body, keep your hands and legs covered. Avoid heavy fabrics like denim that don t dry easily.
8. Wear specs and not lenses: Lenses have a tendency to absorb the colour, thereby making things worse. Wear glasses and keep wiping them clean from time to time. Remember you could suffer from conjunctivitis, eye allergy and a host of other eye problems if you don t take the right precautions.
Aftercare for your skin and hair
9.Deep condition your hair: Once you take the colour of your hair, deep conditioned it after the wash. Make sure your hair is clean. Apply hair mask after 2-3 days to cure the damage.
10.Use a moisturiser instead of soap: Do not rub your skin (especially, your face) vigorously with soaps to wipe the face of gulal, instead, opt for a cleanser. Follow this up with lots of moisturisers, especially ones that are meant for sensitive skin to wipe out every trace of colour from your face.
11. Use a scrub: Avoid scraping off colours with your fingernails as they will leave unpleasant marks. Instead, gently apply a granular scrub on the body and face to get rid of the colours.
12. Avoid parlour treatments: Do not bleach, shave, wax or go for facial or clean ups the following week. Give your skin and body some time to recover from the damage.
13. Don't use skin-unfriendly items: Avoid using kerosene, petrol and spirits to remove stains, as they will make your skin dry.
14. Use homemade scrub: Rejuvenate your skin with a mixture of sea salt, glycerine and a few drops of aroma oil that have an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effect and can help remove chemical colours.
Image source: Shutterstock
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