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By Dr. Bindu Sthalekar

Tips for the summer
The months of April and May, may bring the glorious summer vacations but they also bring the unbearable heat and all the problems that come with exposure to heat... That's why it is essential to take care of what you eat, drink and wear during the summer. Here are a few tips on how you can enjoy the summer!

Do pimples get worse when you eat mangoes?
Due to the excessive heat and humidity, acne or pimples become worse in summer. We eat mangoes during the summer therefore we blame the poor mango for the aggravation of pimples! In fact mangoes and all red fruits and vegetables are rich in Beta carotene (Vitamin A), which is good for the skin. So mangoes will actually improve your pimples!

Skin cleansing
During summer, even the normally dry skin looks oily and shiny due to the heat and humidity. Wash the face with a regular non-moisturising soap or a gel-based face wash. An astringent or toner should be used once or twice a day on the face. Avoid moisturisers, unless your facial skin is very dry. If you feel the need for it, use a lotion or a gel based, oil-free moisturiser. When you are outdoors, you can refresh yourself with wet wipes in case you cannot wash your face. A normal skin can tolerate fragrance. Its only if you have allergies that you should use unscented or fragrance free wipes.

Prickly heat
Prickly heat can be seen very often in people who perspire excessively in the humid environment of Mumbai!

To prevent prickly heat:

  • Avoid going outdoors in the afternoon. Sit in a cool room under the fan.
  • Bathe twice a day with an anti-bacterial soap.
  • Use lukewarm or cool water for bathing. Avoid hot water baths.
  • Wear loose cotton clothes.
  • Dust an anti-fungal powder.
  • Body odour
    Body odour is caused when bacteria (which are normally present on our skin) breakdown the sweat to give rise to the malodour.

    How to prevent body odour:

  • Maintain good personal hygiene. Bathe twice a day with an anti-bacterial soap.
  • Shave or trim underarm hair.
  • Wear clean cotton clothes and avoid synthetic materials.
  • You may use an antiperspirant or a deodorant.
  • Antiperspirant contains aluminum salts, which block the pores of the sweat glands and thereby decrease the sweating.
  • Deodorants contain anti-bacterial agents which kill the bacteria and thus prevent body odour from forming.
  • Socks should be cotton or an absorbent material and should be changed frequently especially after strenuous activities. Wear sandals when possible. All shoes should be well ventilated and allowed to air out for at least 24 hours between use.
  • Sunscreens
    Even though Mumbaikars don't actually go sunbathing, our sun exposure may inadvertently increase during summer. The sunrays are so strong, that even a half-hour exposure to sunlight can give you a sun-tan. This may lead to skin burns, pigmentation, premature aging and every rarely, even skin cancers. Therefore if you are in Mumbai or on a beach holiday make it a point to apply a sunscreen!

    How to choose a sunscreen:

  • When choosing a sunscreen choose one, which blocks UVA and UVB rays.
  • Sun protection factor (SPF): The higher the SPF, greater is the protection. Normally an SPF of 15 should be sufficient, but for prolonged outdoor activities choose a higher SPF.
  • Preferably use a gel or a lotion in summer, otherwise you will feel sticky.
  • Reapply after 2-3 hours of exposure.
  • Skin rehydration
    Due to excessive sweating our skin tends to become dehydrated, therefore it is very essential that we replenish the moisture loss.

  • Imagine a Raisin and a grape! The skin of the grape is shiny, whilst that of a raisin looks dull and wrinkled! This is only because of the grape's water content.
  • Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water, to prevent your skin from getting dehydrated.
  • Avoid excessive tea and coffee. They act as diuretics and make you lose water.
  • Fungal Infections
    Fungal infections like the Athlete's foot, jockey's itch increase during the summer. When you go to the gym for exercise, wear cotton track pants, change into clean dry clothes immediately after exercising. Do not stay in sweaty clothes for longer than required.

    Hair care
    Hair gets excessively oily in the summer. Shampoo the hair twice or thrice a week. Use shampoo meant for oily hair. Avoid using oil in the hair. If the hair feels dry, use a conditioner only on the hair and not on the scalp.

    Dr. Bindu Sthalekar's expert advice on problems of hair and skin is available to all Woman's Extra readers. You may address your medical queries to her at Woman's Extra, Afternoon House, 6, Nanabhai Lane, Flora Fountain, Mumbai 400 001. Dr. Sthalekar will reply to them through her column.

    Don't worry,be happy!
    ADC shows you the spiritual way to happiness...

    Organised religion does not have a monopoly on spirituality
    God is not one religion. Organised religion often is about power, not about faith, love or spirit. If your religious leaders tell you that you should hate certain groups or people, then they are not walking with God. Your religion should not make you feel guilty or try to control you. If you would like to attend a religious group discussion, pick one that allows you to question and discover, to love all in God's world, and to not judge. Don't let anyone else tell you what to believe - they do not know what is right for you. No one else is more knowing or worthy than you. Look inside yourself to find your direction.

    Respect another person's faith journey
    God does not love one person more than another. We are all struggling with our own issues and trying to find our way in this life. We all are doing the best we can. Your way, or my way is not the only or the best course. You do not need to convert or change another's beliefs. Take care of your own house. Don't you want others to respect your faith journey too?

    There are many paths to God
    Keep in mind that all spirit work leads to God. Some find God in a church, mosque, synagogue or temple or even in holy writings. Some will find God in special movies, books, songs, or tapes, or reflected in certain people, in children, in the mountains, while fishing, while doing good deeds and helping others, while serving fellow men. Wherever you feel a connection or feel yourself finding peace and love, that is your path to God. Pick and choose what appeals to you from many sources: books, tapes, people and even movies. Take the best from many places. God speaks to us in many ways. No one's path is better than another's, and they all lead to God.

    Look for wisdom and lessons in unlikely places
    Everyone you meet has something to teach you; and that is God showing you what you need to work on in yourself. If someone exasperates you and you can't stand it, then you probably need to work on developing patience. When a person of meagre income reaches out to help another in need, then you can see all the bounty you have, and you should feel inspired to count your blessings and be more generous.

    Do not judge others
    That's God's job, not yours!

    Don't preach
    Nobody likes to be advised. So don't give advice unless someone asks for it. Keep your faiths and beliefs to yourself. It is not necessary that everyone should agree with you. In case any disagreements arise, remember silence is golden.

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