Monsoon survival guide

Enjoy the rain while avoiding mishaps


July 07, 2015
Children play in monsoon rain in Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

We are grateful for the arrival of monsoon in Pakistan after experiencing the roasting summer heat. But monsoons do bring certain health risks. Our body is more vulnerable to health issues in rainy seasons, making our bodies more prone to allergies, infections and indigestion problems.

The humidity in the atmosphere is usually high during this season; as a result the body’s digestive capability suffers. As compiled from monsoonsafety.org and Times of India, enjoy the rain while avoiding mishaps.

Avoid malaria

The rain and water lying around makes it easy for mosquitoes to breed and increases the risk of mosquito transmitted infections, such as malaria and dengue fever. Viral infections are also common. Apply a strong insect repellent to keep mosquitoes at bay. It’s also a good idea to take anti-malarial drugs immediately with the consultation of a doctor if you experience symptoms of the condition.

Shun fungal infections

Where possible, try to avoid walking through dirty water. Besides leptospirosis, it can lead to numerous fungal infections of the feet and nails. Dry your feet whenever they get wet to avoid mold from growing under your finger nails.

Avoid spicy foods

Especially people who are prone to skin allergies during rainy seasons must avoid spicy foods. Spices in food raise body temperature abnormally and stimulate erratic blood circulation, leading to allergies and skin irritation during monsoons. Other problems such as change in skin colour, dullness, rashes, pyodera are also common during this season.

Be wary of your salads

Eat steamed salads instead of raw vegetables as they contain active bacteria and virus that cause bacterial and viral infections. Have fresh radish juice to fight cold and cough. To reduce mucous formations, add garlic to your diet. This reduces the natural monsoon ailments. Only eat seasonal fruits as non- seasonal fruits get infested with worms during the monsoons.

Avoid body aches

Monsoon is not necessarily the most blissful season for bones and joints. People who suffer from regular body aches should drink warm water with dalchini (cinnamon) and ilaaichi (cardamom) on an empty stomach in the morning. Doing this improves bowel syndromes and also decreases pains in joints and muscles, while helping you sleep at night.

Enhance immunity

The body’s immunity can be increased by adding a dash of ginger and haldi (turmeric) to the soups, stir fries and curries you consume. Load up on yogurt and nuts; especially almonds instead of milk during rainy weather, since probiotics in dahi and omega 3’s in nuts revamps your immune sysytem. Drink only boiled and purified water to avoid tummy flu.

Protect your skin

Use soap free cleansers on your face whenever possible and a good scrub so as to keep your skin moist all the time. Most of us stop using sunscreen once the climate turns cool, but you must continue the habit even if it is cloudy. Avoid bleaching and facials in this season, as bleaching could do more harm for your face and facial makes your skin rough. Wait till monsoon subsides to get your favourite facial.

Safeguard your hair

As much as you can, try to protect your hair from the rains, but that’s something impossible as you could get caught in rains at least once in a while. As you reach home, make sure to wash your hair with mild shampoos and let it dry. At night times, massage your hair with warm coconut oil and comb your hair for the even distribution of oil on your scalp and hair. Since the scalp gets flaky during monsoons, you can apply warm oil mixed with curry leaves to soothe an itchy scalp or dandruff.

By Umnia Shahid

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2015.

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