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Monsoon skin care

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By: Shahnaz Husain

After hot, exhausting, and sweltering summer, the rains in Mumbai have brought a much needed relief and happiness for which we were waiting desperately.  Monsoon is the season of romance, fun, greenery and scenic beauty.

However, walking on filthy pavements, jumping in water logged streets, moist cool atmosphere and dampness leads to sticky footwear, heavy sweating feet, bacterial and fungal infections  like ring worm, itching and redness etc.  Your feet bear the real brunt of monsoon and are the most care worn part of the body during rainy seasons. You can avoid foot and toe infections during rainy season by taking some very simple but very helpful steps.

The main problem during the Monsoons is high humidity and sweat. The feet are among the areas where germs accumulate and odour forms. The waste matter, which is secreted with sweat, has to be removed by daily washing, to eliminate odour and feel fresh and clean.

Make sure you wash your feet every time when you return home with gentle warm water and a mild soap daily to keep infections at bay. Dry the area between your toes and apply an anti-fungal powder daily.  Pay special attention to your feet, while bathing. After washing them well, dry them thoroughly and apply talcum powder. Keep your feet dry and avoid wearing wet shoes. Several bacteria breeds in humidity and wearing closed shoes makes it the perfect environment for pesky fungal infections during monsoon season.

If you wear closed shoes, talcum powder can be sprinkled inside the shoes. However, in the hot season avoid high heels and covered footwear’s as  slippers and open sandals are best because  they allow maximum ventilation and help the perspiration evaporate  quickly and making your feet dry . But, open footwear also attracts dirt and therefore, foot hygiene becomes all the more important. After a hot day, soak your feet in cold water, to which some salt has been added.

A foot problem called "Athlete’s Foot" develops more easily during hot and humid weather, because it thrives on soggy skin. If neglected, it can become a stubborn problem, with an itchy condition. Athlete’s foot starts as a fungus infection. So, if there is dry scaling on the feet, especially between the toes, with some itching, consult a dermatologist without delay. Anti-fungal preparations are effective in dealing with the problem in the initial stages. However, excessive moisture, caused by excessive sweating, tight shoes and humid weather can lead to bacterial activity and this worsens the condition. Avoid socks and wear open shoes, use talcum powder and keep the feet as dry as possible. If socks are a must, wear cotton ones. In fact, during the hot and humid season, the feet should be exposed to the air as much as possible. Regularly cut short your foot nails during the monsoon to prevent the dust and dirt from getting collected under your nails to check fungal infections.

Use foot scrubber and then apply a good moisturizer that works effectively on hard skin and helps keep the heels soft and smooth.

Here are some home remedies for Monsoon foot care:

Foot Soak:  In one-fourth bucket of warm water, add half cup of coarse salt and 10 drops of lemon, or orange essential oil (if you cannot get essential oil, use half cup of lemon or orange juice). If your feet tend to sweat a lot, use a few drops of tea tree oil, as it has germicidal properties. It helps to deal with bad odour. Soak the feet for 10 to 15 minutes.

Foot Lotion: Mix together 3 tablespoons of rose water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and one teaspoon pure glycerin. Apply on feet and leave on for half an hour.

Foot Care for Dryness: In one-fourth bucket cold water, put 2 tablespoons honey, one tablespoon herbal shampoo, one tablespoon almond oil. Soak feet in it for 20 minutes.

Cooling foot bath: Add rose water, lemon juice and a splash of eau de cologne in cold water and soak feet in it. Cools, cleans and removes odour.

Cooling Massage Oil: Take 100 ml olive oil and add 2 DROPS eucalyptus oil, 2 DROPS rosemary oil and 3 DROPS khus, or rose oil. Mix together and keep in airtight glass jar. Use a little of this for foot massage. It cools and protects the skin and keeps it healthy.

The author is international fame beauty expert and is called ‘Herbal Queen’ of India.

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