Preparations for a healthy Holi

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By Dr Karthiyayini Mahadevan, Head – Wellness and Wellbeing at Columbia Pacific Communities

Introduction

All Indian festivals have symbolic meanings behind them. They symbolise the celebration of victory of good over evil. Holi is a festival that celebrates the onset of spring.With the blossoming of flowers, the season brings out vibrant colours of nature. In the earlier days, Holi colours were made using natural dye obtained from plants.

What are the concerns while playing Holi?

Holi should be played with natural colours. Artificial and scented powders can cause allergies in some people and affect the skin and hair.These can clog the pores and cause various skin lesions such as allergic contact dermatitis and toxic contact dermatitis.If these colours enter the eyes, they can result in chemical erosion, injuring the cornea and conjunctiva.

Post Holi, washing these colours with different solvents tends to destroy the protective layer of fat in the skin, leading to irritation and inflammation.The chemicals used in scented colours,if exposed directly to the sun,can cause photo allergic contact dermatitis. Even though this lesion is a rare occurrence, it is always triggered by sunscreen.So, people who apply sunscreen before playing Holi will still get affected with dermatitis.

Precautions:

  • Avoid playing Holi with unknown people, if one is not sure about the quality of colour used.
  • Avoid applying colours on the face.
  • Apply an oil base over the exposed parts of the body,preferably coconut o­il,before stepping out of the house.