Holi is here! Yes, the festival of colors, gujiyas and bhang. The festival that was promoted by Lord Krishna himself.
It is perhaps the most fun festival in the world and the most colorful too. But just like everything else, it comes at a price. The colors we use for holi are often made of  the dangerous chemicals. So, to save yourself from the spoiling disaster that Holi can be, let us pay attention to what dermatologist Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj has to say.
While talking to us, Dr. Bhardwaj told that originally, Holi was played with naturally made colors and herbs, but with time, dyes have replaced them. These dyes contain alkalies, acids, mica, glass powder and many such harmful chemicals.
“The chemicals can cause itching and rashes, and serious injury to the skin upon scratching,”
says Dr Deepali Bhardwaj,
“Also if any open wound or cuts are there on body before Holi then band aid or bandage should be done prior to playing the Holi so as to avoid entry and absorption of the harmful chemicals from it which can even lead to dangerous effects like internal cancers at a later date, blindness has been reported in several cases or loss of limbs, etc due to these chemicals being absorbed in to the blood stream.”
Here are few tips by the doctor before you get out with your pichkaris and water guns to the war front.
  • Dry skin allows these chemicals to penetrate easily so quips Dr Deepali Bhardwaj ALWAYS oil the whole body with preferably coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin E oil and for hair use mustard oil lavishly a hour atleast before playing.
  • oiling at places like behind the ear, between finger tips, near finger nails is very important says Dermatologist Dr Bhardwaj.
  • paint your nails with the darkest colour possible so that the Holi colors cannot go inside nail bed preferably
  • wear protective glasses while playing Holi even old pair of sunglasses is a good idea as that even looks fashionable! Or buying a cheap one for occasion if in case you don’t wish to use your prada’s is sensible too! Always, Wash your eyes clean with cold water and see an eye specialist if the irritation persists after few hours of Holi reminds our Dermatologist very strongly.
  • It is difficult to make out differences between a natural colour and a dye. Taking precautions is, therefore, necessary says Dr Deepali. Try to use only Herbal colors or else home-made colours from kitchen or garden like tesu flowers, genda flowers to beet root juice maybe and ask guests to bring only that. If anyone forces Pakka colour or black grease avoid it on face and max get a hand print on ur clothes like back is a safest option!
  • Don’t play or be in wet clothes longer than 2 hours. If dry Holi, (which is surely better) then try to keep washing face and hands regularly in between or also if you are the host keep curd and use that on each other’s face so that colour also goes down and skin moisturises and hydrates owing to the curd.
  • Do not forget the Sunscreen. It should be gel based as needs to be water proof and any SPF 26 plus is sufficient for Indians. Just apply 30 mins before playing and if in sun beyond 3 hours then please reapply if possible!
  • Keep drinking water. Stay hydrated.
How to fight the post-holi bath and :
  • Always first is standing under running water for 5-10 minutes and no aggressive scrubbing or scratching is important.
  • Also, using liquid soap is next and to only kindly use it very gently on the body and after that using home remedies on the stubborn color on body patches is the way to go explains Dr Bhardwaj!
  • Home remedies like applying direct lemon juice, curd and sandalwood mixture is great and also adding turmeric and white flour will do good and washing after 15/20 minutes with Non boiled milk. This mixture can be applied on all areas with colour after making it bit wet with plain water.
  • For face use olive oil on cotton to remove the make up by Holi colors after lavishly washing with running water and then home remedies with white flour as a must for face as will surely help says Dr Deepali.
  • Kindly remember if there are still colors on the body then let it go with time and if home remedies can be done daily then the fading shall also happen sooner ofcourse! Don’t scrub the body or use exfoliators or bath salts for 48 hours as can cause sensitivity! Do not use steam or sauna for 3 days post playing Holi as body can absorb colours dut to steam and opening of the pores.
  • Try to avoid sweating for next 48 hours to post Holi.
  • Going for a skin facial is good idea but preferably a medi facial which is bleach and steam free and avoids chemicals and it can be done after 48 hours of playing Holi surely.
Wishing all a colourful Holi 2016 and hoping it’s the Herbal and surely a very SAFE and fun one!

About the Author,

Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj


Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj is among the leading dermatologists in keeping with the speedy scientific developments within the field of dermatology and cosmetology. The influence of her work speaks for itself making her one of the most top dermatologists/cosmetologists in South Delhi and in Gurgaon.


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