Holi is here, caution advised

New Delhi: Holi is here again and revellers are all geared up to enjoy the festival of colours.

The revellers, mostly youngsters, will be out tomorrow to smear colours on each other and enjoy the special meals.

The festival is mainly celebrated with greater fervour in northern parts of the country, with Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh being the centre of focus.

However, along with the celebrations, comes a sense of responsibility as there can be some side effects if the celebrations take an unruly form.

The hues that are used for Holi are many times synthetically treated. Most of those are of poor quality, possibly containing multiple contaminants.

“While playing with colours, be careful that you do not inhale it anyway. One should also apply a thick layer of cream or lotion to ensure that the colour does not stick to the skin or bruise it,” advised Dr Amitabha Ghosh of the Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon.

“Whether dry or wet, if anything goes into the eyes during Holi, make sure a lot of fresh water is splashed to wash away the irritant,” he added.

Skin rashes, irritant and allergic contact dermatitis are some of the common side effects leading to itching, extreme dryness, burning, oozing and various other symptoms. Dermatologists suggest that persons with a known history of atopy or allergic rhinitis are more prone to such complaints.

Asthma patients may also get troubled by the smoke that emanates out of ‘Holika dahan’ (traditional burning of pyres coinciding with the Holi).

“Asthma patients must keep their medicines handy. Pollution level might shoot up causing breathlessness and fatigue to people,” said Dr Sanjiv Arora, a medical officer at Delhi Jal Board.

“They (asthma patients) must avoid all outdoor activities on Holika dahan.

People must not create panic if symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath occur but just consult your nearest doctor immediately,” he added.