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This Holi Let's Paint The Town Red While Keeping Yourself Safe

Dr. Molly Joseph 91% (117 ratings)
Diploma In Allergy & Clinical Immunology, MBBS, MD - Paediatrics, M.Med - Family Medicine
Allergist/Immunologist, Kochi  •  18 years experience
This Holi Let's Paint The Town Red While Keeping Yourself Safe

It's the month of Phagun again and time to prepare for the most colourful and vibrant festival of India - Holi. As the festive cheer spreads and people get ready to paint the town red with colours, dance to rocking beats at Holi bashes, and gorge on Gujiya and Thandaai, it’s good to remember that you need to play it safely and naturally. The biggest reason for this is the synthetic agents, which are used to make the colours of Holi. What used to be a festival played with flowers, natural dyes and herbs have now transformed into a celebration of colours made from chemicals that are harmful for our body.

Apart from the allergies to the skin, there is also the risk of increased blood pressure after the Holi festivities due to the high intake of bhaang, the official Holi drink. To avoid the harmful effects of such materials used during the festival, here are some must-follow health tips for you.

Tips to care for your skin

  1. Use organic colours: Skin is the most sensitive body part and synthetic colours are a big no-no for it, as they can lead to rashes and other skin allergies. Therefore, it is advisable that you opt for organic colours, considering they are not only chemical free but are made from natural ingredients. Organic colours are safe for children too, as they are softer on the skin and easy to wash off. It is crucial that you protect kids from synthetic colours as they contain lead oxide, mercury sulphide and aluminium bromide, chemicals which not only damage the skin but can also cause various health issues.
  2. Skin and sun protection: To avoid any kind of damage to the skin from colours, apply a good amount of Vaseline, any other petroleum jelly or mustard oil to your skin. You can also apply this to your child’s skin as it is completely safe for their sensitive skin. When playing outdoors, opt for a waterproof sunscreen to protect your skin against sun damage.
  3. Choose the right clothes: Wear long pants and full-sleeved shirts. This will help you stay safe from the harmful effects of colours. 

Tips to care for your hair

  1. Oil your hair: You can apply a generous amount of oil to your hair, this will not only moisturize your hair but also safeguard the scalp and hair from the chemicals in the colours.
  2. Cover your hair: Tie a ponytail and cover your hair with a shower cap to prevent your hair from dreadful damage. For a trendy look, you can also tie a bandana over your hair and safeguard them at the same time. 

Tips to care for your eyes

  1. Wear sunglasses: Synthetic or organic, colours can be harsh on your eyes. You can protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses as they will help in preventing your eyes against any sort of damage. If your eyes come in contact with the colour, rinse them immediately to avoid infections. 
  2. Moisturize around the eyes: Applying a good cream around your eyes will shield them from getting the colour into your eyes.
  3. Avoid wearing contact lenses: You should refrain from wearing contact lenses while playing Holi. In case you cannot do without them, wear the eyeglasses. 
  4. Use rose water: Rose water is known for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties and can do a great job in removing colour from the eyes. It can also be used to reduce irritation cause by the chemicals present in the colours.

Other health tips

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during and after the festivities. Staying hydrated will not only keep you energetic but will also prevent your skin against the absorption of harmful chemicals. Drinking fluids will also ensure that all the toxins are flushed out of the body. 
  2. Check your sweets for purity: Adulteration is at all-time high during the festive season. Therefore, make sure you buy your sweets from a reputed brand. In case, you are preparing your own sweets, buy your ingredients from a reputed shop, especially in case of products like khoya or if you can you even make that at home.
  3. Keep your hands clean: Keeping your hands clean during the festivities can be a daunting task but since the colours used during Holi come as a fine powder and can easily get mixed with food, they can lead to different health problems. Make arrangements for snacks and drinks away from the festivity area. Make sure you wash your hands every time you touch the food.
  4. Preventing asthma attacks: If you are an asthmatic patient, you must avoid playing with dry colours as they can aggravate breathing problems. The particles can enter your lungs and trigger an asthma attack. Asthmatic patients are also advised to carry inhalers, in order to avoid complications.

Apart from the above mentioned problems, these synthetic colors can also cause health problems like nausea, headache and vomiting in many people. Follow these tips and enjoy the festival to the fullest, while steering clear of all the harmful effects. So, forget all your worries and storm in the riot of colours. Be safe and be healthy! Have a great Holi!

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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