It’s the time of the year again…..Harmattan season is getting closer, the days are getting hotter and the nights are getting colder. Dry and white skin, cracked lips and impeding eye and respiratory infections, as well as an increase in asthma episodes can likely be predicted.
As the West African Continent braces itself against the dry and dusty winds blowing in from the Sahara, we will be sharing a few useful tips and tricks to make it through the season as easy as possible.
- Dress wisely- Choose light and loose dresses (preferably made of cotton) during the hot days that can absorb any extra body moisture and wear longer cloths during the night times, to avoid colds.
- Sun shades do not only let you look cool and funky, they also prevent sand from entering your eyes. So now you just got the perfect excuse to wear them all day long!!
- Drink lots and lots of water!! Adult persons should aim for at least 2.5 liters a day to stay well hydrated and fit. And no, unfortunately coffee does not countJ. And neither does soda nor soft drinks, as they are rather culprits to reduce your water levels in your body further. If you are one of the persons that do not too well with the plain taste of water, try flavoring it up a little, by adding a squeeze of lemon or orange juice to it.
- Take a refreshing bath at least twice a day to reduce sweat and dirt! Excessive sweating and dust particles can easily lead to fungal infections and skin irritations. Ensure you use a bathing gel or soap that does not irritate or dry out your skin further. If you still fall victim to those infections and decide to give it a try with over- the- counter treatments, keep an open eye on your skin. If you do not see any improvement in a short while, symptoms persist or get worse, contact your primary care provider for a second opinion. Seeing an expert can sometimes save you from unnecessary treatment and shorten your recovery time.
- Don’t hold back on body moisturizer- but chose wisely. Not all moisturizer provide equally good results. Water- in oil- based products (such as creams) should be chosen over oil-in-water based products (such as lotions). Creams have a higher fat content and will moisturize your skin for longer, whiles lotions might dry your skin even more, due to the evaporation of the high water content in the product. If you decide to go naturally, shea butter and cocoa butter products are excellent choices. For the best results, apply at least twice daily after a refreshing bath. And don’t, forget the sole of your feet to avoid cracked skin! And always carry lip balm with you to save you from cracked lips. (And they are not only for females- those work excellent for men, tooJ).
- Attention asthmatic persons! Dry heat, cold nights and abundance of sand and dust bring enough reasons to be on the lookout for asthmatic episodes. Try to reduce exposure for prolonged times as much as ever possible (and yes, it’s unlikely you can avoid it all) and don’t forget to always carry an inhaler with you.
- Respiratory illnesses and viruses are on the way! As difficult as it is to avoid cold and flu- like symptoms completely, there are a few precautionary measures you can take. Start building up your immune system gradually. Increase more Vitamins in your diet (especially Vitamin C), eat healthy and well balanced, stay well hydrated and ensure you get enough rest. Good hand washing etiquette also helps to reduce germs drastically. And should you still fall sick, best see your healthcare practitioner early for adequate treatment!
So here you have it! Follow our tips and stay healthy