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Keep yourself protected and ensure a healthy diet this Holi

Date : March 10, 2017

Holi Hai!!! An occasion to celebrate with friends and family. However it is useful to keep in mind some basic tips for a ‘safe and secure’ Holi. It is important one is aware about the different ways in which they can protect their skin and eyes, as well as continue to eat healthy during this festivity.

When the skin gets affected by colour, it can lead to breakouts, itching, rashes, swelling, aggravation of eczema and irritation. Some colours can affect the scalp and cause allergies and hair fall. If colour enters the eyes it can cause severe irritation, redness, watering and itching. Colours which are chemical-based and manufactured using synthetic ingredients like oxidized metals or industrial dyes. These are highly toxic and can trigger harmful reactions.

How can you keep your skin protected during Holi?

Dr Naresh Jain, Consultant Dermatologist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon:

Pre- and during Holi

• Oil or moisturize your face and body well before stepping out as the oil creates a barrier preventing damage to the skin and helping remove the colour easily.

• Apply a toner on your face, as it helps close and minimize the pores which prevent any breakout problems. • Wear long, sleeved tops and full length pants, leggings or salwars while playing Holi. Use waterproof SPF 50 sunscreen to prevent tanning. • Apply nail paint to prevent staining of the nails.

• Make sure the hair is oiled well so that it is protected from the harmful chemicals in the colour.

Post-Holi

• If the colours don't come off easily, avoid using face wash or scrub, try using a mild cleanser. Use a generous dose of body lotion after the bathing.

• Wash your hair with cold water and a mild shampoo to remove the oil, dirt and colour. Use a conditioner thereafter.

How can you keep your eyes protected while playing Holi?

Dr Neeraj Sanduja, Senior Consultant, Ophthalmology, Fortis Memorial Institute Gurgaon:

• Avoid using toxic colours. Synthetic colours used in Holi contain heavy metals like lead, which causes red eye, chemical burn or corneal abrasion.

• Make your own safe colours by using natural products like rose petals, besan, palak. This will ensure adequate eye care.

• Synthetic colours used in Holi contain heavy metals like lead, which causes red eye, chemical burn or corneal abrasion. • The green synthetic colour used during Holi may have a risk of causing fleeting blindness. The shining mica particles in red colour can cause damage to the cornea.

• Please ensure that your eyes remain protected at all times. Use a sunglass to protect your eyes from a misfire of colour-filled darts or water jets.

• Avoid throwing water balloons as it can cause severe eye injury or even head injury.

• DO NOT wear contact lenses as colour may get trapped between the lenses and result in eye infection. The lenses may also be of no use any more.

• Never rub your eyes in case colour enters them as this may cause irritation or burning. • Apply coconut oil or a cream around your eyes and on your face so that you can remove the colour easily without any harm to the eyes.

• Use lukewarm water when taking bath and washing off the colour. Keep your eyes closed while you wash your hair and face so that the colour does not get inside your eyes.

How can you maintain a healthy diet during Holi?

Dr Sandhya Pandey,Chief Clinical Nutritionist, , Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon:

• Enjoy your favourite dish but eat small portions.

• Do not succumb to the societal pressure of binging unnecessarily.

• Do not forget to work out or go for your walk on the day of festival.

• Do check the expiry date of food products purchased. Sweets and desserts are highly perishable, so make sure that you are eating a freshly-made product.

• Detox the next day by hydrating yourself well.

• Prepare snacks or food items at home so that ingredients can be modified to make them healthier by reducing the fat, sugar or calories, increasing fibre and essential nutrients. For example:

o Use whole wheat rather than maida (white flour) or refined flour

o Use jiggery (gud) or honey rather than sugar

o Bake snacks rather than deep fry

o Use fruits or fruit salsa as a part of your dessert

o Add skimmed milk to make thandai

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