Kathiri period (peak summer) is from 4th May to 28th May 2018 in Tamil Nadu. This period is literally a nightmare for the people. The peak summer has already started this year with hot air blowing even during nights. It has touched 100 degrees in some of the southern districts. It is common that during this peak summer period we may have to face many skin-related problems including measles. Skin specialist, Dr.Sharadha explains the different skin complications that may be created by this hot summer and the remedial steps to overcome these in this following essay.
Prickly heat is a common problem caused by the sweat that gets settled in our skin during summer. We should not scratch the prickly heat in order to avoid further spreading. We will be able to control them by taking bath twice a day and also washing of our hands and legs in cold water every time we return home from the hot climate.
Heat boils occur due to low immunity level and also lack of cleanliness and unclean habits. While this is a contagious disease, this will also be caused by extreme heat. This will affect our body parts like back, neck, armpit and thigh areas. One should avoid oily and fried items. We should not scratch them. We should approach the concerned doctor before it spreads further.
Measles normally affect people with low immunity level. It is one of the primary diseases of summer. It is called chicken pox which will easily spread to others by air. This will be followed by boils in neck, back and arms with high fever which will normally disappear in a week’s time. We should refrain from plucking or pinching the boils. Neem and tamarind are the best natural remedies. If the itching sensation is more, one should approach the concerned doctor immediately. It is essential for the children to be given the vaccine.
Some people will get itching sensation if they move out in hot weather and return home. Pealing of skin will also occur for some. This is called solar urticarial. In order to avoid this problem, one should avoid going in the hot sun and getting sun burn condition. If going out is unavoidable, they can apply sun screen lotion over their body to protect them from the ultra violet rays. It is better to wear clothes that cover their entire body.
Majority of people will experience skin dryness also during summer. Because of excess sweat, our body will lose much of water content and in order to compensate this, we must take a minimum of 3 litres of water including fruit juice, tender coconut, butter milk, jaggery water and sharbath. We can also apply moisturizer on our body.
Dryness of hair
Dryness of hair is also a common problem in acute summer. The best way to protect our hair is to apply oil over our head at least half an hour before we take bath. Similarly, we can wear a cap while going out in order to prevent direct sun over our head. We must ensure that we take head bath after we return from hot sun so that we can avoid dandruff and related problems. If these problems still occur, we must not hesitate to consult a doctor.
It is better to avoid wearing shoes in summer. Extreme summer and hot climate will cause cracks in our feet. To overcome this, we must clean our feet in the night and apply moisturizer before we go to bed. If possible, we can avoid wearing shoes during summer. Moreover, tight wears will cause ring worm infection and itching sensation. Lose fittings will be helpful. We can use creams for smoothening the skin.
To the extent possible, we should avoid going out between 10 am and 3 pm. If inevitable, we can go with an umbrella and a sunglass. Children will prefer to play during day time in their summer vacation. But it is imperative that we must advise them to play only after 5 pm in the evening.
* Whenever we go out, we must carry water bottle with us.
* We must avoid putting powder immediately after bath as they will close the skin pores thus preventing the heat from getting evaporated. This will cause skin problems.
* As already stated, we must get rid of tight wears during peak summer. Instead of that, we must practise wearing lose fittings so that it will absorb the sweat. Cotton wears will be ideal. It is better to cover the bare body so that it will prevent direct sunlight on our skin.
* Those who use sun screen should necessarily check whether the sun protection factor measures 30 or not. One can apply the sun screen 30 minutes before leaving home. Similarly, once in three hours, the sun screen should be applied over the body. We must check and satisfy that the sun screen that we use has vitamin A and C. Unless the doctor recommends, we must avoid using steroids including hydroquinone based creams.
* We must take orange, carrot, barcoli, mango, papaya, water melon and spinach that contain lot of antioxidants such as anthocyanidins, beta carotene, lycopene. In general, we must take more of items that have vitamin C in plenty in order to prevent ultra violet rays of sun from attacking us.
* Above all, we should refrain from taking more of spicy or fried items. We can take plenty of tender coconut, butter milk, water melon that contain not only enough water but also fibre content.
The above-stated practical tips will help us face the summer with least complications to our skin and body.
(This article written in Tamil by G Lakshmanan has been trancreated in English by P S Ramamurthy)