27, February 2010
By Nuradha Mascarenhas
A women buys colors on saturdayADVOCATING a safe and organic Holi, dermatologists in the city suggest ways to keep the festival of colours a healthy affair.
“Skin pigmentation, rashes, eczema and allergic reactions are some of the after effects of the use of synthetic colours,” Dr Vikas Sharma of the National Skin Hospital, Panchkula, said.
Stressing that last year the hospital received close to 60 cases of patients suffering from adverse affects of using harmful colours, Sharma said there was need for people to remain cautious.
“Chemicals used in Holi colours consist of synthetic dyes and in many cases mica dust that can cause major skin allergies,” he added.
A girl plays with a chinese water gun ahead of holiSkin specialists vouch for wearing a good sun block with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 before going out to play Holi and washing off colours immediately in case of irritation. The other better option, doctors said, was using non–synthetic or herbal colours that were safe and more environment–friendly as they are prepared from natural extracts of flowers and vegetables.
Do's and Dont's
- Apply sunscreen and a skin barrier cream on face and exposed parts for extra protection
- Protect hair by applying a leave–on conditioner, coconut oil or olive oil. This forms a thin layer over the hair, which acts as a barrier to chemicals in colours.
- After taking a bath post–festival, moisturise the skin well. Even while removing colours, keep eyes and mouth closed. Do not forget to condition the hair.
- In case of mild irritation or rash, use calamine lotion. In severe cases, consult a dermatologist.
- Sunglasses go a long way in keeping eyes safe from harmful chemicals used in colours.
- Wear full–sleeved t–shirt or shirts that cover your arms fully. Socks will be a good idea too.
- Avoid use of colours that have flakes of mica