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Hygiene, Precaution & Diet Guide to have a Hale & Hearty Monsoon

By Posted Jul 5th 2014

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Monsoon sure does bring the much needed relief from the sweltering heat of summer but it also brings its own set of problems along. With rains and rise in humidity, a number of viral, bacterial and fungal infections become active. Cases of dengue, malaria, conjunctivitis and a series of viral infections rise. The humid weather may also cause dehydration.

 

Do follow some healthcare tips to have a hale and hearty monsoon:

 

Guard against mosquitoes: The cases of dengue and malaria start showing up in the summer months but they peak during the monsoon season when rains and humidity provide the vector ideal conditions to grow. With stagnating water providing mosquitoes a medium to breed and humidity in the air providing them ideal atmosphere to grow, the vector borne disease wrecks a lot of havoc in the monsoon season. While it may be impossible to cut yourself away from the mosquitoes in the environment, it is possible to minimise them.

 

  • Prevent any water stagnation in your surroundings, including your own garden area and lawns. Air coolers are other areas where water stagnates and may encourage mosquito breeding; clean it up frequently and spray mosquito repellents inside. Report any water stagnation to the municipal authorities.
  • Wear clothes that cover you up most. Keep your shorts, sleeveless dresses and skirts away for a couple of months. Stick to full sleeves and pants that will minimize skin exposure to vectors.
  • Use mosquito repellents everywhere, even in workplaces. Often, mosquitoes breed in the office dustbins and under the tables and can be dangerous. Keep a mosquito repellent cream in your bag and apply it on your feet and hands. Also apply the repellent when travelling in public transport like buses or metro.
  • Mosquitoes also breed in cars. Make sure you spray mosquito repellents in your cars every night to prevent breeding.

 

Drink sufficient water: High levels of humidity mean that we sweat a lot in monsoon. Dehydration is a logical outcome. Keeping yourself hydrated is essential during monsoon as it is throughout the year. Drink sufficient quality of water to keep your body and skin hydrated. This also gives the body resilience to fight infections and prevents dehydration. Adequate water also helps flush out toxins.

 

Prevent bacterial and fungal infections: Monsoon is a season when a lot of bacterial and fungal infections thrive because the temperature and moisture in the environment is suitable for their growth. To prevent infections o the skin, it is important to avoid keeping your skin wet for longer duration. Dampness triggers fungal infections. Use anti-bacterial soaps, creams and talc to keep bacterial and fungal problems at bay, especially if you are susceptible to infections.

 

Fungus proliferates in moist weather hence people get rashes in skin folds. Besides, increased incidence of acne eruptions in oily skin and itching is also seen. A lot of sweating can also cause such problems if you do not dry yourself and change clothes regularly. Wearing sweaty socks for a long time is another problematic area. Some problems like athlete's foot, ringworm, or itching are caused by wet clothing. A lot of skin and scalp infections during monsoon happen because your skin or hair are wet for a long time. Also since bacterial and fungal infections predominate the season, keep your feet and groin dry and prevent infections. Always make it a point to dry your skin and scalp with a towel thoroughly after every bath. Even when you just wash your feet, dry them properly with a towel, making sure even the spaces between the fingers are dry. This will prevent infections. Feet should be washed on coming indoors, if possible dip in water with few drops of betadine. Use antifungal powders if necessary. Prefer open footwear that keeps the air going.

 

 

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Avoid oily food and food cooked outside: Indigestion also happens to be one of the major problems that occur during monsoon. When humidity is high, the body's capability to digest weakens. When your digestive system tends to weaken, heavy foods can upset stomach easily. You do not want to upset your stomach and make it more susceptible to infections. Oily foods are also responsible for skin breakouts and eruptions. The mantra is to eat light and easily digestible foods.

 

Since infections are on a high, it is better to avoid food cooked outside in conditions you are not aware of. Even if you love the roadside stalls and restaurants, stay away from them for the monsoons months and stick to home cooked food. This will minimize the chances of infections that are rampant in the environment.


Keep your eyes clean: Viral infections of the eyes like conjunctivitis are another concern during these months. While you cannot escape the viruses that are in the sir, you can certainly keep your eyes clean to minimize the chances of infection. Wash your hands with soap and eyes thoroughly with water the moment you enter home. Drop rosewater in your eyes every night before sleeping. You can even keep a piece of sulphur immersed in water and use this water to wash your eyes.

 

Build immunity: The best way to fight infections is to strengthen your body from inside and this can best be done with correct food intake. Consume a lot of citrus fruits and leafy vegetables to keep your body vibrant and strong from within. Fill up your plate with apples, pears and pomegranates. Use garlic in food. Eat yoghurt regularly.

 

Follow the basic rules of hygiene religiously: During monsoon, infections are in the air. So, the more you keep yourself clean, the lesser the chances of acquiring them. We travel in public transport, visit public spaces and communal areas where all kinds of people are assembled, many of whom may be fighting an infection themselves. The ideal way is to immediately rush to the washroom as soon as you enter home, wash your hands, and face thoroughly, have a bath is possible and dry yourself well. This will wash off any virus or bacteria you may have caught on your skin.

 


Data Courtesy by Dr Satish Koul, General Physician, Columbia Asia Hospital-Gurgaon


*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images


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