It is quite common for clothes and shoes to get wet during the monsoon season, which then become a hotbed for allergies.
Any person who is even slightly prone to allergies or has a history of asthma or eczema can be at the receiving end of allergies during the monsoon season. Another factor that aggravates skin allergies during the season is the fact that once the itching starts, a person continues scratching the skin, in turn damaging the epidermis which then becomes a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria.
This weather also leads to sweaty feet and wet, sticky shoes which lead to allergies being developed. Chemicals such as bonding agents, glues, adhesives, treatment agents that are present in rubber or plastic shoes react with water causing contact dermatitis.
Following are few common allergies that one can experience during the monsoon:
Clothes, shoes and monsoon allergies
It is quite common for clothes and shoes to get wet during the monsoon season, which then become a hotbed for allergies. Synthetic clothes have chemicals, and when they tend to rub against the body it leads to allergies. Which is why many people complain of itching in the monsoon season. Raincoats, jackets, and gloves, that are made of cheap synthetic material, can also cause allergies on coming in contact with the skin. These allergies can give rise to fungal infections, especially in the body folds, such as inside of the elbows, back of the knees.
Moulds and allergies
Moulds are a kind of fungi that thrive on food and water sources. They can grow on the wet walls, in junk lying at home, and even on heavy tapestry. Moulds, which increase during the rainy season, are known to cause various allergic problems in monsoons such as skin allergies, allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma.
Ringworms and whitish furry growth in between the fingers and toes (athlete’s foot) are common fungal infections during the monsoons. Another reason for the rise in fungal infections is the high amount of perspiration during monsoons. The sweat does not dry quickly as the moisture content in the air is too high. The presence of salt on the skin irritates the skin, and growth of fungi is extremely rapid in such regions, which in turn causes itchiness and redness. Fungal infections can be contagious therefore you need to take proper care of your skin at all times.
This is a bacterial infection that affects the hair follicle. Since our entire body is covered with hair as a form of protection for the skin, when sweat and pollutants come in contact with the skin, they cause the hair follicles to break out in pimples which can be really painful.
Folliculitis can occur on the upper back, arms, thighs and on the forehead area. Bacterial skin infections like impetigo are common during the rains due to faster bacterial growth in moist environments.
Dr Rinky Kapoor, cosmetic dermatologist & dermato-surgeon at The Esthetic Clinics & Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai, suggests a few simple ways to keep the skin fresh and disease-free:
* Avoid oily, spicy and greasy food
* Exercise well
* Clean and dry your feet well if you come in contact with the rainwater
* Wash your face every time you come home from outside
* Skin problems can be communicable, therefore keep your towels and personal use items separate.
* Wear water-resistant sunscreen every time you go out.
* Change out of wet clothes as soon as possible. Make sure your undergarments are thoroughly dry before you wear them.
* Eat a balanced diet and take adequate amount of fluids to maintain the pH balance of the skin.
* Keep the area around you dry and well ventilated.
* Use medicated soaps and powders for the skin. They will prevent the fungal infection and keep the skin from sweating too much.