The Harmattan season, characterized by dry and dusty winds, usually occurs towards the end of the year and could carry on into the first two months of the new year. This season can pose challenges to health due to the dry air and increased levels of dust and it is very common to experience catarrh, sore throat, cough, dry skin and lips. Here are some ways to stay healthy during the harmattan season:
- Stay Hydrated: The dry air during Harmattan can lead to increased dehydration and it is advisable to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Exfoliate and Moisturize Skin: Exfoliation plays an important role in removing dry and dead cells on our skin and should be done at least once a week during the harmattan season. It is also important to use a good quality moisturizer to prevent further skin dryness and cracking. There is a suitable exfoliant and moisturizer for every skin. Ask your dermatologist or aesthetician about the best method and routine for your skin type. Pay special attention to areas prone to dryness, such as hands, feet, and lips.
- Protect Your Eyes and your Hair: Use sunglasses to shield your eyes from the dust and bright sunlight and wear a hat or use a scarf to protect your hair from dust and dryness during the Harmattan.
- Use Humidifiers: If the air in your home or office becomes too dry, consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air. This can help prevent respiratory irritation.
- Protect Your Respiratory System: Wear masks or scarves when outdoors to reduce inhalation of dust particles. This is especially important for individuals with respiratory conditions.
- Maintain Good Hygiene: Practice good hygiene, by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing, also wash your hands to prevent the spread of infections.
- Stay Warm: Harmattan winds can bring cooler temperatures, especially in the morning and evening. Dress in layers to stay warm and protect yourself from the cold.
- Avoid Overexertion: Engage in moderate physical activities and avoid overexertion, particularly during the peak hours of dusty winds. This can help minimize the risk of respiratory distress.
- Eat a Balanced Diet: Consume a nutritious diet rich in vitamins and minerals to support your overall health, including your immune system.
- Regularly Clean-Living Spaces: Dust tends to accumulate more during Harmattan. Regularly clean and dust your living spaces to create a healthier indoor environment.
- Consult a Healthcare Professional: If you experience persistent respiratory issues, skin problems, or other health concerns during Harmattan, consult a healthcare professional for advice and treatment.
By taking these precautions and maintaining good health practices, you can help mitigate the potential health challenges associated with the Harmattan season.