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Is your skin ready for the rains?

Dr Parul Kolhe | June 20, 2005

D he rains bring not only a welcome respite from the scorching heat of the summer, they also bring a whole new set of problems for your skin.

Long hours of staying in wet clothes, repeated immersion of feet in contaminated water and constant high environmental humidity cause physical discomfort as well as myriad skin problems.

Here are some common monsoon-related diseases we should be familiar with and know what to do when we spot them.

ProblemAthlete's foot

This fungal infection affects the front part of the foot. It is very common in this season due to walking in wet footwear all day.

Symptoms: Severe itching, scaling and discolouration of toes or toe web spaces. Toenails may also get affected and become discoloured or brittle.


  • Wear open footwear when out in the rain.
  • Change into dry socks and footwear when you get indoors.
  • Always wash your feet with soap and water after exposure to puddles or rainwater.
  • Apply Candid Cream (Rs 20, available at all chemists) twice a day. If the condition does not improve, please consult a dermatologist.

Problem: Ringworm or tinea infections

This commonly affects underarms or under your waistband.

Symptoms: It manifests as extremely itchy, irregular roundish patches which may be red to dark red in colour.

If you are diabetic, you may be especially prone to this disease.

The solution:

  • Consult a dermatologist.
  • Under no circumstance should you try advertised remedies like B-tex, Itch guard or Sapat Lotion, as they only complicate the picture.

Problem: Yeast infections

They occur mostly in private areas -- underarms, groins, under breasts -- due to moist conditions etc.

Symptoms: Sodden, macerated white patches with itching.

The solution:

  • Try applying Candid powder or antifungal creams, like Zoderm (Rs 34, available at all chemists).
  • Please visit your dermatologist and take the prescribed oral antifungals as well to prevent worsening.

Problem: Pediculosis

This odd-sounding disease has nothing to do with feet!

It actually means lice infestation of hair and can occur in the highest of social strata too if damp hair is tied up too long.

The solution:

  • Always shampoo your after getting wet in the rain.
  • Dry hair completely before tying up.
  • If you feel itchy, get your scalp examined by a doctor.
  • Applying Permite Lotion One Percent (Rs 80, available at all chemists), on the scalp will get rid of the problem.

Problem: Scabies

This is yet another disease caused by a mite that likes warm, moist conditions and, therefore, attacks most in this season.

Children are more prone to get infected and complain of intense itching all over the body, more so at night.

Also, a rash can be seen in the finger web spaces, body folds and trunk.

The solution:

  • Consult a dermatologist. Apply the antiscabetic cream prescribed to you overnight, covering the whole body from the neck downwards.
  • Once a member of your family gets this disease, everyone must be be treated.

Four hair and skin monsoon mantras!

Apart from these diseases there are usually many non-specific complaints, like wrinkling of the skin, body odour, dull, lifeless complexion or frizzing of hair -- all due to excess humidity.

i. Keeping yourself dry is vital, even if it means keeping an extra set of clothes in your office and changing in the bathroom.

ii. Apply moisturiser after drying off and use Abzorb Powder (Rs 50, available at all chemists), or your routine talc in the skin folds.                                 

iii. Hair specialists from Juice, the hair salon, reccomend Tigi's Anti Frizz Serum for permed hair that frizzes in humidity. But if the cost factor is too prohibitive (Rs 1,000), dabbing your skin moisturiser on your curls can be used as an emergency fix!

iv. Exfoliate your facial skin two to three times every week with a scrub (apricot or walnut), to bring back the glow to a dull complexion. You can try Lakme's new Apricot Face Scrub (Rs 55, available at all cosmetic stores and chemists). 

Do you have a skin query for Dr Parul Kolhe? Write to Get Ahead!


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Number of User Comments: 1

Sub: Skin & Rain

1. Personal Hygine is most important tool to get rid of fungal & bacterial skin infections of rainy season. If you ignore to take bath ...

Posted by Dr Rajesh Buddhadev


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