Play safe for a happy Holi

Revellers should take precautions related to skin, hair, eyes while applying colours

The festival of colours Holi sometimes brings with it a lot of anxiety, especially if the revellers overlook preventive measures. Physicians advise basic precautions related to skin, hair and eyes while applying colours. Strong colours, which are usually laced with chemicals, cause dehydration of skin. Easy entry of harmful chemicals has the potential to cause short and long term health problems, they said.

Unlike natural colours, normal colours contain chemicals and substances such as mica, acids, alkalis, pieces of glass that cause skin disorders such as abrasion, irritation, itching, can impair vision and in few cases cause respiratory complications. Some colours also contain heavy metals like lead that has the potential to damage nervous system, kidney, reproductive system, gums and blood problems.

“Lead impacts pregnant women and children as it can affect brain growth, low birth weight and premature birth. For colour red, chemicals such as silver aluminium bromide, cadmium and mercury are used which directly impact nervous system and they are carcinogenic. Chromium and copper used in silver colour complicate asthma and respiratory disorders,” says Critical Care Specialist, Dr. Ravindra Nallagonda.

Before going out to celebrate Holi, skin experts advise revellers to apply waterproof agents like sunscreen, cold cream, moisturiser or Vaseline. According to them, applying such agents will prevent colours from settling down into the skin. Experts also suggested that after washing-off the colours, calamine lotion can be applied, which will help skin from irritation.

Skin specialists have also advised to apply mild oil to remove colours, avoid using hot water and apply moisturiser generously. Revellers have to avoid applying bleach, waxing or shaving to prevent from skin allergies. All synthetic colours are toxic and irritants to skin, eye and lungs, say doctors.


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