Monsoon Skin Problems and How to Prevent Them

With the onset of the monsoon, hot and humid weather conditions increase the risk of skin infections. Thus, it is important to be very careful with the skin during this season.

Delhi NCR based dermatologist Dr Mohna Chauhan says that during the rainy season the cases of skin infection increase. Asked about the main cause of the increase in these cases, she says: “The friction due to the constant rubbing of sweat leads to red and irritated skin. Sweat that tends to stay on the folds of the body can lead to maceration of the skin.

Dr Mohna Chauhan

She further tells that such a fungal infection is usually seen in the groin area and between the toes. “It’s caused by a fungus called Trichophyton rubrum,” she explains.

According to Dr. Mohna, in women, these fungal infections are more likely to occur near the chest, buttocks, toes, and groin, and more caution is needed during the menstrual cycle. “During the monsoon, sweat dermatitis or eczema are more likely to occur due to excess humidity and heat,” adds Dr. Mohna.

Along with this, Dr. Mohna explains that facial skin care is very necessary during monsoon. She says that due to excess heat, the skin is more prone to rosacea, which is not an infection but an internal condition causing redness and small pimples on the face.

Dr. Gulhima Arora, another Delhi NCR dermatologist, adds that bacterial infections such as boils are more common in hot and humid weather. Fungal infections, she says, are contagious and should be treated as soon as possible because they can spread quickly. She suggests avoiding over-the-counter creams that contain steroids because they can further damage the skin.

Dr Gulhima Arora

She says parasitic and protozoan infections that can cause allergies from eating contaminated food and drink are also more common during the monsoon season.

We asked the two dermatologists to suggest ways to avoid skin infections and maintain skin hygiene. Some tips they gave are-

  • Take a shower every day, especially if you sweat
  • Use mild, non-medicated soaps, as medicated soaps can attack healthy bacteria in the skin and cause irritation
  • Loose, light-coloured cotton clothing should be worn
  • Avoid wearing wet clothes during the rainy season as this increases the risk of fungal infections
  • Do not wear wet shoes and shocks as this may lead to fungal infection
  • Don’t let sweat stick to your body. Use at least a cup of water to wash away the sweat, then apply moisturizer
  • Use non-medicated talcum powders in body folds. Do not use fungal powders unnecessarily.
  • Diabetic patients should be more aware of fungal infections. They should take more precautions.
  • Do not reuse worn clothing. Wash them with normal water to remove dust particles and sweat.
  • Calamine lotion or aloe vera gel can be used to calm the skin. A mild steroid cream such as 1% hydrocortisone can be used if irritation persists. Care should be taken as DIYs and home remedies can further irritate the skin.
  • It’s also important to stay hydrated for glowing skin.

Rainwater is considered a pure form of water because it is distilled. However, today, with pollutants from factories and vehicle emissions among other sources in the air, rain carries all particles with it. Thus, rainwater is now contaminated with nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Both of these substances damage the skin and hair.

When asked how to treat insect bites during the monsoon, as they become very common, Dr Mohna said: “It’s their breeding season so it’s very common. Ideally they should see a dermatologist, especially if the bites look like herpes.Once if it is confirmed that it is not herpes, you should wash it with normal soap and normal water and dry it.Use simple creams such as soframycin on it and avoid hard creams such as betnovat, ring guard and pen drum.

Dr. Gulhima says prevention is better than cure and hence insect bites can be prevented by using mosquito repellent patches and insect repellents. Use calamine lotion for instant itch relief.