According to a report by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), the pollution levels recorded in Delhi a day after Diwali were much higher than ever before and almost completely poisonous for humans.
The Particulate Matter (hazardous particles in the air) PM 10 were 836.1 µg/m³ (over eight times the safe limit) and 624.2 µg/m³ (nearly 10 times the safe limit). These numbers are expected only to increase annually, unless proper action is taken, causing a definite spike in respiratory diseases and skin allergies for all age groups.
“This calls for immediate action on the part of the government and the citizens together, as the PM particles directly affect the respiratory system and skin, causing allergies that can have a long term effect on the patient,” says Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, one of the most leading Dermatologist of the country with her base in the Capital, who says it’s not just Diwali but environmental, emotional and various stresses which are playing up. And she feels 365 days certain ways to protect oneself from allergies in the face of increasing pollution is vital.
“Skin is the most sensitive organ as it is directly exposed to the changes in our environment – be it rough weather, pollution, or stress, our skin takes it all, often developing various allergies and reactions that we forget to notice initially because of our busy lives. It is important to take the right steps to cure these reactions so that it does not lead to long-term problems,” she adds.
Keeping planters aloe Vera, mother in law tongue, Alecia palms and other indoor plants is one step which we all must do.
Having adequate water intake throughout the day and for adults, 4-5 Litres/day is the recommended quantity. Washing face with plain water after every visit in pollution.
Avoiding chemicals on body in form of jewellery/watch etc., to perfumes or deodorants is important to avoid triggering the autoimmune skin disorders and skin allergies.
Wearing a sunblock even if no sun will help when stepping out in the sun. The sunblock should have barrier agents like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. It’s with light the pollutants enter our skin and UV light is emitted from various kinds of festival decorative lights to crackers too. So sunblock is necessary and as base before make up when going for Diwali parties too is essential.
Also if face or body is dry please take immediate steps to keep moisturised else the side effects of pollution shall surely increase accordingly states Dr. Bhardwaj.
Adding few drops of an oil like olive or sesame or apricot in bathing bucket to bathe with neck down or using it as last rinse after shower helps form a coat of oil on the body and yes on face using moisturisers for dry skin or oily skin depending on skin type is best way to fight these allergy triggers. For face stick to moisturisers rich in antioxidant, vitamin C, E.
Lastly, if any redness occurs immediately apply cold water or ice on the area and applying plain curd and washing shall be helpful. If while festivities, if any superficial burn comes do not apply Burn creams as a chemist or a friend, may suggest but insist on a doctors visit and till then only ice, cold water, curd or pure aloe Vera gel should be applied. Also applying calamine lotion to soothe till one visits a doctor is a good idea too states Dr.Bhardwaj.
Also, do not delay your visit to doctor if you are having persistentcough or dry skin as various new diseases and altered previously known skin and lung disorders is definitely on a keen unfortunate rise in India at this moment so why ignore?
As Delhi is affected with dangerous level of air pollution, please take vitamin – C, omega fatty acids, tulsi, ginger, lemon and magnesium rich diet like cashews. For omega 3 take Walnut. These foods will help you to reduce the effect of air pollution. As we are outside what we are in! So maintain a healthy diet for a healthy life!
Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj M.B.B.S, MD (USA.IM), DVDL, M.Phil (Cosmetology), Allergy Fellowship Munich, Germany; Cosmetic surgeries, Iran.