Monsoon Skincare

Skin Care in Monsoon: Check out ways to tackle them!

Dr. Sweta Rai, MD, Estheva Skin Clinic
Monsoon season is always beautiful & refreshing; however it may not be great for our skin. The humidity and the moisture in the atmosphere during the monsoon may adversely affect our skin and lead to skin related issues like rashes, eczema (Dermatitis), Urticaria (Hives), acne breakout, folliculitis, allergic reaction, athlete’s foot, and jock itch, fungal, viral & bacterial infections. Cases of Insect bite dermatitis (IBD) and children suffering from atopic dermatitis are also more frequent.
People suffering from the diseases which lowers the immunity like Diabetes , Obesity as well as those who are prone to allergies have a tough time during this season; are more susceptible to infections and may triggered the skin problems due to the changes in temperature and the exposure to the increased humidity.

Our skin naturally has abundant microorganisms. The rises in environmental humidity and the local skin temperature are most conducive for the growth of the microorganisms in this humid climate. Due to moisture, bothersome inflammation of skin and natural body folds can be aggravated by skin-on-skin scraping. This humid climate also translates to sweaty feet and it is quite frequent for clothes and shoes to get wet, which become hotbed for allergies. Chemicals such as glue, adhesives, bonding agents and treatment agents are present in the rubber or plastic shoes which react with water and cause contact dermatitis. Synthetic clothes contain chemicals and the wet clothes tend to rub against the body causing allergies giving rise to fungal infections especially in the body folds such as the areas like neck, armpits, below the breasts, elbow folds, groin, behind the knee and feet are much more sensitive to skin allergies.

During the humid and adverse weather, it becomes imperative to take care of the skin. Prevention is better than cure is a universal verity. Hence, it is extremely beneficial to boost your immunity and speeds up your body’s healing processes to fight against these infections. Consult a doctor without delay, as dermatologists give satisfying and safe results when dealing with all the above skin conditions during humid and changing weather period.

Eczema (Dermatitis) & Preventions

Eczema is common dermatological conditions where skin initially becomes itchy, inflamed, red, infected, patchy, rough and blistered later become thickened. It is a contagious form of infection, which can be really uncomfortable. Invariable scratching can damage the skin, leading to bleeding and secondary bacterial infections. Humidity and moist weather conditions act as a catalyst in eczema. Hence a lot of care should be taken by those suffering with eczema.

Self Care

  • Apply good moisturizing soaps, moisturizing creams or lotions.
  • One should refrain using cosmetic moisturizers available over-the-counter (OTC), as the fragrance and coloring agents are common cause of allergies aggravation.
  • Regular bathing, keeping dry and wear loose cotton clothing as sweating aggravates itching in patients with Eczema.
  • Staying away from known allergens like dust, dirt, pollens, foods, nuts and animal fur.
  • Keep your nail well-trimmed and clean. Avoid picking and scratching skin more frequently at free times.
  • Promote nutritional diets, enough sleep and exercise. Hydrate your skin with plenty of fluids and water.
  • If it’s troublesome then without delay do consult with dermatologist instead of visiting a saloon or some medical stores.

Fungal Infections & Preventions

Commonly known as ‘ringworm’; is the most common infections during monsoon seasons. It is transmitted through fomites such as public toilets, sharing of towels, personnel belongings, utensils, etc. Once acquired, red circular patches with maximum itching persist mostly over neck, underarms, groin and feet, even spread to the face and scalp sometimes.

Athlete’s Foot, nail infection & Jock itch
  • The fungal infection commonly affects webbed spaces of the toes; presents as whitish scaly patches. The culprits are closed footwear and socks worn while wading through rains.
  • Repeated infections & itching lead to secondary infections of nail beds which tend to become discolored (Yellowish-Green), brittle, and swollen nail beds.
  • Other common site of fungal infection during monsoons is the intertriginous areas like groin, the inner area of thighs, and other body folds like armpits, neck regions.

Self Care

  • Practice good personal hygiene. Discard wet clothes, shoes, socks, and undergarments as soon as possible.
  • Keep yourself and clothes clean and dry. Wear air conditioning, loose fitting & comfortable clothing.
  • Avoid using tight, occlusive, chafing, polyester, synthetic clothing as well rubber, plastic foot wears.
  • Simple and airy footwear like open -toed shoes or Sandals is an optional choice to reduce Toe-web-space moisture.
  • Keeping the affected area and additional intertriginous areas dry, free of moisture, and exposed to air is recommended to help prevent recurrences. Additionally, reducing skin-on –skin friction can help prevent intertrigo.
  • Use anti-fungal dusting powder, especially in the toe web spaces after bathing, before wearing socks and whenever the feet become wet and smelly. Simple intertrigo may be treated with drying agents (e.g. Talc, cornstarch).
  • Intertrigo infected by bacteria should be treated with topical antibiotics (e.g., mupirocin) along with low-potency topical steroids.
  • Intertrigo infected by yeast or dermatophytes should be treated with antifungal agents.
  • Consulting Dermatologist is equally important, to aid timely treatment and to prevent the spread of infections.

Acne Breakouts & Preventions

Increases in humidity lead skin to dryness and dehydration. Overzealous scrubbing, cosmetics applied to reduce oil and wearing regular mask due to COVID-19 pandemic situations during this monsoon, can easily lead to acne break outs as repeated scrubbing, dryness, dehydration, irritation can trigger the oil productions and cosmetics uses can easily clog the pores. In case of acne breakouts, prompt treatment is necessary to prevent spotting, pigmentation (PIH) and acne scarring. Blackheads are actually the initiation of pimples, scrubbing removes them temporarily only to reappear. Fortnightly or monthly chemical peels with AHA’s & BHA’s are better to treat acne. People with oily skin who are prone to acnes should consult dermatologist while choosing a correct cleanser, sunscreen, anti-pimple medication (Retinoids, Benzoyl Peroxide, antibiotics) and moisturizers.

Self Care

  • During the rainy season, do not use oil-based products on your face as they tend to block the pores and can lead to acne; especially if your skin type is prone to oiliness. Avoid toners with alcohol, as it can further dry your skin.
  • Follow the right diet and incorporate Vitamin A and Vitamin C rich foods in your diet like lots of seasonal fruits & vegetables & try to include yogurt, almonds, nuts, berries, garlic, brown rice, oats, dates, fish, lentils etc. which will bring a natural glow to your skin.
  • Cleansing helps to remove excessive oil and dirt from the skin pores and helps it to breathe. Use gentle cleanser onto your face twice a day (A.M & P.M); incorporate with Salicylic acid 2 %, benzyol peroxide 2.5-5% wash, tea tree oil or some AHA’s face wash is recommended.
  • Apply light weight moisturizer, antioxidants (Vitamin C) A.M; Retinol serum (P.M) or counter retinoic acids.
  • Sunscreen SPF 30 or more, 5ml (1 tsb) is an ideal for full face, ear and neck region, reapplications frequently in every 2-3hrs. Applying sunscreen daily, whether Indoors & Outdoors is necessary.

Folliculitis & Preventions

Folliculitis is a fungal or bacterial infection of the hair follicles. The interaction between sweat and fungus or bacteria, unhealthy hygiene results in folliculitis. The red-angry looking raged pimple can be really painful and infected with pus. Folliculitis generally occurs in upper back, arms, thighs, buttocks, folding regions and scalp area.

Self Care

  • Keep the folds of body clean and dry. Use soothing lotions or gels containing zinc oxide.
  • Hair washes with salicylic acids or antifungal as well using antibacterial \antifungal bathing soaps reduces the risk of infection.
  • Use of drying agents (e.g. Talc, cornstarch), antifungal powders on the trunk and back of the body.
  • Avoid shaving, scratching or any kind of hair removal procedures.
  • Avoid sharing towels and personnel belongings. Keep your skin and Clothes dry and expose the clothes, belongings, towels to the sunlight’s
  • Avoid using synthetic, polyester, fabric clothes and damp clothes instead use loose, air conditioning cotton fitted clothes.

Scabies & Preventions

A monsoon skin infection caused by microscopic mites called Sarcoptes scabiei hominis. Untreated, these mites can hover on skin for months. They reproduce on the surface of skin and then burrow into it and lay eggs which causes immense uncontrollable itching and redness. It is a highly contagious infection and can spread through fomites.

Self Care

  • To control the spread of scabies, treat each person at home as a patient and wash their clothes separately.
  • Sexual contact should be avoided if the person is infected.
  • To reduce itching, can use calamine lotion or even soothing gel of aloe Vera.
  • It is easily treatable condition with scabicidal agents as well as appropriate antimicrobial agents if secondary infection has developed.

Insect Bites and Stings & Preventions

IBD are often witnessed in monsoon. Their bites can cause skin suffering ranging from a single red itchy bump to the extremely severe Urticaria-Angioedema in allergic patients.

Self Care

  • Wearing long sleeve full length clothes can safeguard being bitten.
  • Patients with multiple medical issues should avoid skin allergies, stings/bites, and fungal, viral and bacterial infections.
  • Patients with known allergies might need anti-histamines and steroids. One should immediately consult dermatologist when demands.

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