Published on June 24th, 2016 | by Geraldine Jain
Skin Problems? Not Anymore
Read on to know what that itch could mean, and how to avoid getting an infection…
Prickly heat rash
- What is it? A prickly heat rash is a red, pimply eruption that you can easily get in hot and humid weather. Humidity causes you to sweat a lot and skin pores to clog. Clogged pores don’t let the sweat escape which leads to prickly heat in first place. You’ll usually find this rash on your neck, under arms, back and near the edges of your groin.
- How did I get it? Humidity and non-breathable fabrics combined with sweating can get you a case of the pricklies. Prickly heat isn’t painful but can get annoyingly itchy and you may be tempted to scratch which can cause infections and sores.
- Now what? Lots of showers, prickly heat powders and ointments will make the rash go away soon unless the rash gets infected (caused by scratching it). Dress in cotton clothing and keep yourself cool as much as you can. Applying calamine lotion may help to ease the itching. If the rash doesn’t go away and appears to get worse, see your doctor immediately.
- What is it? Eczema can make your skin dry, flaky, scaly and itchy. When it flares up, your skin could also get red and cracked which can sometimes ooze fluid and bleed. The most affected areas are hands, face, neck, inner elbows and back of the knees.
- How did I get it? No one knows for sure why one gets eczema. Some experts say that it could be a combination of dry skin and allergies that are mainly genetic. But eczema can also be caused by external factors like changes in the environment. Whatever the reason for eczema, it can be triggered by humidity, temperature change and exposure to other irritants during the monsoon.
- Now what? Depending on the severity of eczema, your doctor will prescribe a topical treatment. In mild cases, an emollient lotion should be enough. More serious flare-ups may need a steroid cream. Keep yourself clean, dressed in fresh clothes and moisturised at all times to improve your skin.
- What is it? Scabies is an extremely itchy rash, caused by tiny parasitic mites, that spreads easily. The rash looks like red bumps usually found between fingers, on elbows, armpits, tummy and genitals. You might have inflamed areas filled with small water blisters. You may also find wavy light brown or silvery lines where the mites have burrowed under the skin.
- How did I get it? You were probably infected by someone. The hot and humid monsoon encourages this skin infection to spread. Other members of your family are also at risk of catching scabies.
- Now what? Your doctor will prescribe a cream to be applied on every inch of your body below the neck, even if some areas are not infected. In addition, every member of your family will need immediate treatment, even if they show no signs of the infection, as preventive measures.
Tips to keep skin healthy
As hard as you try, there is no sure way of protecting yourself from all skin problems during the monsoon. However you can reduce the chances of getting an infection. Try making the following tips a part of his monsoon care regime:
- Don’t overdress. Loose-fitting, light cotton clothes are the best. If it gets cold, then a light jacket with some pants or leggings should be just enough to keep warm. Keep a thin blanket handy.
- Keep away from people who have skin infections.
- Trim your nails to prevent scratching and spreading the infection.
- Keep yourself clean to prevent the build up of sweat, dirt and grime on skin. Take regular baths and add a few drops of a mild disinfectant or neem oil to cleanse the skin.
- Ensure that you dry yourself thoroughly after a bath, especially in the areas where the skin folds.
- Keep your surroundings clean and insect-free. Insect bites like wasp stings or spider bites can cause serious allergies or worsen an existing infection. If this happens, consult your doctor immediately.
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