In monsoon, you are likely to see a number of skin conditions flareup including eczema and even insect bites and stings. Dr Smriti Naswa Singh, consultant dermatologist, cosmetic dermatologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund explains to us about these conditions. Eczema or dermatitis, commonly known as khaaj sees a steep flare-up in the rainy season. Humidity and changing temperatures take a toll on the already disturbed skin barrier of eczema patients. Invariable scratching can damage the skin, leading to bleeding, aggravated itching and secondary bacterial infection. A dermatologist can treat eczema by prescribing medication like steroids, Topical Immunomodulators (Tacrolimus/ Pimecrolimus) and medicated non-cosmetic moisturizers. Children are affected by this too! Across the globe, childhood eczema affects 18-21 per cent children. The season also sees an increased incidence of atopic dermatitis and nappy/ diaper rash.

How to prevent eczema flare-ups?
1) Well-moisturized skin is healthy skin. Lotion-based moisturizers are better than cream-based ones in this season
2) One should refrain from using cosmetic moisturizers available OTC, as the fragrance and the colouring agents are one of the commonest causes of aggravation of allergies
3) One should ask their dermatologist for a moisturizer apt for their skin
4) Stay away from known allergens like dust, dirt, pollens and animal fur
5) Sweating aggravates itching in patients with eczema. So you need to keep dry, take bath twice a day and also wear loose cotton clothing

Insect bites and stings
These are commonly seen in monsoons. Their bites can cause distress ranging from a single red itchy bump to the very severe Urticaria-Angioedema in allergic patients. Therefore, one should immediately consult a dermatologist. Patients with known allergies might need anti-histamines and steroids; while diabetics and those on long term immune-suppressive diseases like arthritis patients run a risk of enhanced infections. These infections become difficult to treat if the diabetes is not under control. Such patients with multiple medical issues should never take skin allergies, stings/bites, fungal, viral and bacterial infections lightly.