- Holi is just around the corner and ahead of this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted a drive to ensure that substandard colours in the market do not harm people.
- Although, dermatologists are not convinced, as in spite of strict vigilance by the FDA there are still cases of people being affected due to the harmful chemicals used in Holi colours.
Before the festival of colours commences, skin specialists from the city suggest remedies to protect skin and hair from the harmful colours. Puneites are cautious about the side effects caused by these colours while playing Holi.
Dr Mohan Thomas, Cosmetic Surgeon at Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Institute, Pune, said, “The FDA takes major precautions to protect us from harmful Holi colours in which chemicals are used. In spite of FDA’s efforts, doctors in Pune still get cases where patients suffer due to chemical-based colours.”
He said applying oil to the skin pre Holi has been an age old tradition so as to prevent the colour from directly sticking to the skin. Olive or almond oil application is also recommended.
Dr Thomas added, “Harsh chemicals in Holi colours can cause itching and rashes which can lead to eczema, which is a group of diseases that results in inflammation of the skin upon scratching, which is the most common type of reaction seen after Holi. Dry skin leaves a lot of scope for these harmful chemicals to penetrate into the skin easily.”
Dr Ridhima Yadava, Dermatologist and Cosmetologist from Pune said that post Holi care is as much important as preparing for the festival. “The FDA should ban chemical-based products from the city more vigorously. There is growing demand for organic colours, but we need to be speculative if these herbal colours are 100% organic or not.”
V Javdekar, Joint Commissioner, FDA, Pune, said, “We are keeping a close watch against those selling chemical-based colours and ensuring that they are not harmful to people. Chemical colours which are available in market contain chemicals such as metal oxide, lead oxide, copper sulphate etc. We ensure that colours do not have these chemicals in them.”
Useful tips to follow before Holi:
- Put coconut oil on the skin before leaving home, so that the colour does not come into direct contact with the skin. This helps in avoiding rashes. Make sure the quality of coconut oil is good.
- Application of dark nail paint will prevent strong colours from entering into the cuticle and the nail plate, thus preventing discolouration of the nail.
- Apply oil to your hair the night before Holi and on the day of Holi itself, in order to prevent dry hair or dandruff which leads to hair fall.
- Remove contact lenses and/or all jewellery that you are wearing before going out to play Holi. This will prevent any eye injuries and any reactions between artificial jewellery and colours.
What should you do after playing Holi?
- First and foremost, dust out all the dry gulaal and colours from the face, hair and body.
- Remove the colour with the paste of turmeric, besan and malai rather than soap, as that will be very harsh for the skin.
- Apply coconut oil on your skin before taking a bath. This should be followed by washing off Holi colours using cold water and a mild shampoo to scrub off the colours and wash hair.
- If your hair turns rough, then massage the hair using olive and almond oil every night.
- Moisturise your skin immediately after a bath. Do not use a very harsh shampoo.
- Do not scrub your skin with a loofah/scrubber as it will scrape superficial skin leading to dryness.
- Facials and facial bleach should be applied only a week after Holi.