BENGALURU: Playing with colours during Holi may be fun but the toxic industrial dyes can cause skin allergies warn city doctors, adding that the scorching heat this year could aggravate the problem further.
Come Holi and doctors say they often treat skin conditions accompanied by pain, oozing of pus and scaling.
“I see many patients suffering from burns, Pruritus and other skin allergies post Holi,” says Dr Sachith Abraham, Consultant Dermatologist and HoD of the dermatology department at Manipal Hospital.
Warning that the heat can aggravate many skin allergies because of the sweating and the loss of the skin's protection barrier, he says chances are higher at this time of the colours being absorbed into the skin and also into the bloodstream.
While some of the popular colours have lead oxide, copper sulfate , aluminum bromide, and mercury sulfate, the dry colours or ‘gulals’ or ‘abeer’ as they are called, have two components , a colorant and a base, both of which may cause cutaneous problems.
Experts also suggest protecting the eyes while playing Holi. “Use of hard colours and ‘gulaal’ could be toxic for the cornea resulting in temporary visual distraction. So if the colour gets into your eyes, thoroughly wash them with clean water immediately. Water balloons that hit your eyes can cause serious injury or permanent blindness," warns Dr K Bhujang Shetty, chairman of Narayana Nethralaya.
Dr Praveen Bhardwaj , a dermatologist with Apollo Clinic, advises wearing of sunglasses. “The glasses will protect the eyes from both the coloured powder and water,” he explains, while suggesting that people give contact lenses a miss as they can absorb the colours and irritate the eyes.