Don’t ignore your skin this monsoon!

Dr Smriti Naswa Singh, a Consultant Dermatologist & Cosmetic Dermatologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, shares her insights on different types of skin and tips to prevent the skin from getting damaged during monsoon

Seven tips to follow this monsoon for skin and hair care

Monsoon season brings a sigh of relief after the scorching heat in summers. It, however, comes with its share of problems; skin, for example, needs utmost care and nurturing in this season.

A multitude of myths and misconceptions prevail, which make us treat our skin with harsh chemicals, detergents, resort to aggressive methods like overzealous scrubbing, and usage of the galaxy of products available in the market bought because of ‘expert advice’ of peers, and advertisers alike.

Monsoon is a complex season and is both dry and humid at the same time. While the weather is cloudy, one also bears the brunt of the harmful UV-A & B sun rays.

In monsoon, the body produces sweat, and it increases the oiliness of the skin. A doctor prescribed skincare routine is the best way to deal with Monsoon-related skin woes.

Let’s understand the issues better;

Understanding skin types: There are three types of skin – dry, oily, and the combination of both (dry cheeks and oily T-zone & outer area of the face), let’s understand dealing with each of them;

Caring for dry skin: A good skin equals moisturised skin. Monsoon brings forth the allergies, and allergic skin is inherently dry. Daily moisturising is the key to prevent itching and scratching.

Dehydrated skin is dry and lacks lustre. There are two types of moisturisers – Emollient coats the topmost layer of skin and prevents the water droplets from evaporating into the atmosphere; while a Humectant increases the water content of outer layers of the skin. Certain moisturisers are loaded with skin-repairing natural moisturising factors (Ceramides) and help allergic or diseased skin. A dermatologist can help you in making the best choice for your skin.

Caring for oily skin: Oil glands although are controlled by hormones, they tend to get hyperactive during monsoons. It makes the skin looks sticky; and when people with oily-skin try to dab themselves with cosmetics to decrease stickiness, they end up with acne/pimple flare-ups.

Oily skin needs a medicated face wash (used twice-thrice) daily, to combat excessive oiliness. Avoid excessive washing and scrubbing of the face, as it signals oil glands to reproduce more oil.

People with oily skin should refrain from applying heavy make-up in monsoons; instead, opt for water-based cosmetics and use lotions instead of creams, to moisturise your skin.

Acne should be treated timely, consult a dermatologist, only then use treatment options like medicines, creams, chemical peels, so you aren’t left with marks or scars.

Caring for combination skin: This type is a mix of both dry and oily skin, it needs a tailor-made therapy,  that comprises of mild cleansers and moisturisation.

Care mantra for your face: This three-step care regime should be followed;

CTS: Cleansing, Toning, and Sunscreen application (daytime)

CTM: Cleansing, Toning, and Moisturizer application (evenings)

Choose the right toner:

People with dry skin should use alcohol-free toners

People with oily skin should use alcohol-based toners

People with combination skin should use alcohol-based toners in case of oiliness, and non-alcoholic toners if their skin feels itchy

Choose the right SPF:

The clouds block the heat producing infrared rays, but not the skin-damaging UV-A and UV-B rays. Medicated sunscreen with minimum SPF 15 and UV-A (Boots star rating-3) should be used. Take an opinion of a Dermatologist regarding sunscreens, best suitable for your skin and weather.

Bodycare: Monsoons with it fungal (most common), viral and bacterial infections. Tinea or fungal infections commonly called as ‘Ringworm’ are especially common in this season. Fungus blooms in humidity and wetness, so all body folds and wet areas are prone to these infections.

If drenched, people should change their clothes, including undergarments, as soon as possible.

Wearing closed footwear with socks is not ideal, one should opt for sandals while outdoors, and wear closed indoors.

Before wearing socks, the religious use of anti-fungal dusting powder, prescribed by a Dermatologist, can prevent fungal infections. The dusting powder should be used in body folds after the bath, and in the evening before retiring for bed

Tips in a nut-shell:

  • Wear loose cotton clothing
  • Change out of wet garments, including under-garments as soon as possible
  • Bathe after coming back from work, thoroughly clean the body folds
  • Apply dusting powder while changing garments
  • Avoid scratching
  • Eat a balanced diet, including fruits & vegetables that contain Vitamin A and C
  • Keep your skin hydrated by drinking 2-3 litres of water, and by applying a moisturizer after bathing, on damp skin
  • Use sunscreen while going out