Category Archives: Holy Trinity: Mind-Body-Soul

Are your hair and skin ready to beat the heat?

Dr Kiran Godse lists tips and tricks to keep them healthy in coming summer months. 

New Delhi, March 31, 2021: A year of COVID19 lockdown has kept most of us indoors but gradually we are stepping out as offices, schools, public transports, etc., are slowing opening up and life is limping back to normalcy. Summer is right here, staring at us. Are your skin and hair ready to beat the heat?

SKIN DURING SUMMER: When summers approach, temperatures rise and so does the humidity level. Humidity brings in a lot of changes in our skin and hair behavior. Our skin becomes sweaty, oily, develops acne flare ups, blackheads, whiteheads, and is prone to fungal infections, heat boils, body odors etc. Even our hair becomes frizzy with an oily scalp, dandruff, etc.

SO HOW TO TACKLE SKIN PROBLEMS DURING SUMMER? For having a healthy skin during these hard summer days, few tips can be helpful.

  • Cleanse your skin well with a gentle cleanser-twice daily is optimal. In case your body becomes excessively sweaty or one suffers from body odors, bathing twice daily will be helpful.
  • Make sure to dry your skin well before layering clothes, preferably even use some dusting powder, since it helps absorb excess moisture and thus, prevents fungal infections, heat boils or prickly heat issues.
  • Using a sunscreen is crucial, especially for those who suffer from hyperpigmentation and sun sensitivity.
  • Wearing closed footwear for a prolonged period can give rise to fungal infections and soft corns in the web spaces, so using dusting powder on the foot before wearing socks or shoes, aids in keeping your feet dry and clean.

CARING FOR YOUR HAIR DURING SUMMER? During summers, while it is necessary to care for your skin, it is equally important to take good care of your hair.

  • Cleansing hair at least twice a week is optimal. For those suffering from an itchy or dandruff prone scalp, using an anti-dandruff shampoo regularly keeps dandruff at bay.
  • Oiling your hair shouldn’t be done frequently as it can lead to heat boils on scalp with acne flare ups on the forehead and trunk. Just a teaspoon of oil an hour before hair wash, once a week, is adequate. In case the above steps don’t help your skin, consult a dermatologist.

BEWARE OF THE STEROIDS THAT MAY DAMAGE YOUR SKIN: Avoid taking drugs or applying over-the-counter-creams recommended by friends or the pharmacist, since majority of them contain steroids which may worsen your skin condition.

  • Avoid using topical steroid creams sold over the counter to treat fungal infections
  • Keep your body well hydrated! Drink lots of water, juices and eat plenty of fruits rich in Vitamin C.

THINGS TO DO TO SAFEGUARD YOUR SKIN & HAIR WHILE STEPPING OUT: While stepping out, one must ensure that a generous coat of a broad spectrum sunscreen is used. Reapplication of the same every 2-3 hourly is necessary to avail adequate sun protection, especially if one is constantly out in the sun. Also it is not necessary to apply sunscreen under your mask, as it may cause irritation and acne flare-ups since the occlusion inside the mask damages skin barrier and makes skin more prone to irritation. Apart from using a sunscreen, wearing protective clothing helps. Light colored loose cotton garments should be preferred to avoid any excessive sweating and friction.

Wishing you all ‘happy summer skin days’!

(Dr Kiran Godse is Consultant, Dermatology & Cosmetology, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi-A Fortis Network Hospital)

(Cover Image by silviarita from Pixabay

Philips India Sleep Survey 2021 reveals that Indian adults slept more during the COVID-19 pandemic

World Sleep Day 2021: The report focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep health as well as the increase in adoption of digital health technologies.

New Delhi, March 19, 2021: Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, recently released the findings of the India Sleep Survey Report titled ‘Philips Global Sleep Survey 2021’. The report focuses on the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on sleep health as well as the increase in adoption of digital health technologies. Highlighting the importance of digital health technologies, 60% of the Indians said that they have used or are willing to use telehealth for sleep-related concerns.

The report highlighted that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian adults experienced new sleep challenges like difficulty falling asleep (37%), difficulty staying asleep (27%), and waking up during the night (39%).

The survey also focused on the adverse effects that sleep apnea has on patients. The study reported that 80% of patients with sleep apnea experience daytime drowsiness while only 52% of those who do not have sleep apnea experience the same. 47% of the participants also said that sleep apnea is impacting their relationships. With symptoms like unwarranted daytime sleepiness and trouble in concentrating, sleep apnea impacts productivity and overall quality of life. Sleep apnea can also lead to graver health issues including cardiac conditions, strokes, neurological disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity as has been noted in widely referenced clinical research papers

Philips also announced the launch of its Care Orchestrator Sleep and Respiratory Care Management system today. The system enables clinicians and healthcare institutions to drive superior health outcomes by remotely monitoring and managing all sleep apnea and respiratory patients with a single system.

Chhitiz Kumar, Business Leader, Precision Diagnosis and Connected Care, Philips Indian Subcontinent, said “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on everyone’s lives. With everyone now adapting to the new normal, both healthcare providers and patients have a critical role to play in transforming the way healthcare is delivered. The increase in adoption of digital technologies such as telehealth for treatment of sleep related disorders from patient side is a positive change that must be welcomed and encouraged. Philips Care Orchestrator Sleep and Respiratory Care Management system is one such breakthrough solution that will enable healthcare institutions and practitioners to remotely monitor and manage all their sleep apnea and respiratory patients with a single system. As we head into the next decade, Philips is focused on designing a future where technology leveraged across the entire sleep ecosystem can help people get the most out of their lives.”

Dr. J.C. Suri, Director and Head, Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi and Founder, President and Chairman, Indian Sleep Disorders Association, highlighted that “sleep is an important component of our daily lives. It has profound impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. I have seen a steady improvement in awareness about sleep disorders such as sleep apnea in the last decade. However, we still have a long way to go in increasing seriousness towards diagnosing and treating this disorder. Brands like Philips and the physician community have an important role to play in this regard. While brands work on sensitizing people towards sleep apnea, it is also vital to equip physicians with the right know-how to screen, diagnose and treat sleep disorders in general and sleep apnea in particular. Only then we would be able to bring significant improvement in the sleep health of India.”

As part of its overall initiatives to combat sleep disorders and sleep apnea in particular, Philips announced in October 2020 launch of first-of-its-kind six-month online certified comprehensive Sleep Medicine Course. The course is being organized in collaboration with Academy of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine (APCCSM) and under the aegis of Indian Sleep Disorders Association (ISDA). Designed to augment the gap in medical education in sleep care, the inaugural batch of the course commenced on March 2, 2021 with more than 70 doctors being trained under the able guidance of Dr. J.C. Suri. Philips also launched a dedicated sleep helpline (1800 258 7678) and Home Sleep Test Solution to enhance access to care for patients suffering from sleep disorders in October 2020.

The company has also trained more than 500 sleep technicians and guided the launch of more than 850 sleep labs in the country till date.

As an industry leader and innovator in sleep and respiratory care, Philips is deeply rooted in its commitment to developing clinically proven solutions that help people take control of their sleep health. Philips aims to provide solutions that meet the growing and evolving needs of consumers and healthcare professionals alike. In line with its focus on offering quality, accessible and value-based care, the company also provides ‘No-cost EMI’ offer on its products under the Respironics range of sleep and respiratory solutions.

Key Findings of Philips India Sleep Survey 2021

  1. 67% of Indian adults say they are completely or somewhat satisfied with their sleep, and 25% say they are somewhat or entirely dissatisfied.
  2. 54% of Indian adults report that the amount of time spent fully asleep has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 18-34-year-olds are especially impacted, with 61% reporting an increase in sleep compared to 41% of 50-64-year-olds and 35% of 65+ year-olds.
  3. Since COVID-19 started, many Indian adults report new sleep challenges like difficulty falling asleep (37%), difficulty staying asleep (27%), and waking up during the night (39%).
  4. Indian adults report the following being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic:
    1. Work routine – 43%
    2. Sleep routine – 41%
    3. Ability to sleep well – 36%
    4. Stress – 50%
    5. Physical health – 35%
    6. Mental/emotional health – 47%
  5. 80% of Indian adults with sleep apnea experience daytime drowsiness, while only 52% of those who do not have sleep apnea experience daytime drowsiness.
  6. 77% of Indian adults with sleep apnea experience chronic fatigue, while only 36% of those who do not have sleep apnea experience chronic fatigue.
  7. 74% of Indian adults feel like they get enough sleep at night.
  8. Approximately 1 in 5 (19%) Indian adults experience sleep apnea.
  9. One-third (34%) of Indian adults with sleep apnea currently use sleep apnea therapy to improve their sleep.
  10. Of the Indian adults that have been tested for sleep apnea, 55% say they were tested in-home, and 34% say they were tested at a sleep lab or doctor’s office
    1. 50% received their results during an in-person visit, and 41% through a telehealth visit (video call or telephone appointment)
  11. According to Indian adults, when it came to using their phone in bed:
    1. 8% say they do not use their phone in bed.
    2. 29% say they charge their phone overnight next to their bed.
    3. 32% say they respond to texts or calls that wake them up during the night.
    4. 53% say the last thing they do before falling asleep is look at their phone.
    5. 54% say they look at their phone as soon as they wake up in the morning.
    6. 54% use their phone as an alarm clock.
    7. 58% use it for entertainment (e.g. watching videos, scrolling through social media)
  12. Of those (53%) that said their phone is the last thing they look at before falling asleep at night, 81% said this leads them to fall asleep later than they would like to.
  13. Of those that said their phone is the last thing they look at before falling asleep at night, during that time:
    1. 80% are scrolling through social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok)
    2. 78% are watching videos (e.g. YouTube, Netflix)
    3. 63% are checking email
    4. 58% are sending/receiving text messages
    5. 53% are setting their alarms
    6. 50% are looking at pictures
    7. 46% are reading news not related to the pandemic or politics
    8. 43% are reading news about the COVID-19 pandemic
    9. 39% are reading political news
  14. 22% of Indian adults say worry/stress is what most limits their ability to get good sleep, and when it comes to what contributes to this stress, the top responses were:
    1. 63% reported financial challenges, with 81% of 35-49-year-olds reporting this as their top contributor to worry/stress
    2. 59% reported the COVID-19 pandemic
    3. 56% reported work responsibilities
    4. 48% reported health (mine or family member’s)
  15. 44% of Indian adults either currently use or have used sleep trackers to improve their sleep.
  16. 40% of Indian adults have never set a bedtime/wake-up schedule to improve their sleep.
  17. 60% of Indian adults say they have used or are willing to use telehealth for sleep-related concerns.
  18. 55% of Indian adults who have used a telehealth program/talked to a healthcare specialist online about sleep-related concerns did so for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  19. 50% of Indian adults over the age of 65 do not think it is necessary to be treated for sleep apnea.
  20. Of those reporting to have sleep apnea, 47% of Indian adults believe sleep apnea is impacting their relationship(s).

(Cover image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Men, masculinity and their toxicity

The article was published in The Free Press Journal, Mumbai, edition dated March 14, 2021.

Distance no bar if a couple knows how to make it work

Communication remains the key to bridge the geographical separation between a couple and help them stay connected with each other.

Mr X and Ms Y, a young couple were dating each other for two years when suddenly due to career commitments, Ms Y had to move to a different city. This is a familiar situation for many couples today, as career, personal and professional growth, as well as family commitments, make them get into ‘long-distance relationship’. With people connecting online, long-distance relationships are prevalent. A 2018 survey of long-distance couples found that while 27% had never lived near each other, about 50% of couples in the survey had met each other online.

A long-distance relationship is a phase where people are geographically distanced from each other, and work to overcome the physical distance by being connected virtually. Initially, Ms Y was very apprehensive about the prospect of staying away from Mr X. Negative thoughts and the questions that people would ask her like “How can you stay away from him?” and “He will find somebody better than you!” plagued her.

The most important thing that Ms Y and Mr X did was communicate with each other. Before going ‘away’ they spoke a lot, they understood each other’s situation, perspective and promised to not breach their trust in each other. A few coping mechanisms that any Mr X and Ms Y can use to nurture a long-distance relationship are as follows:

MUTUAL ACCEPTANCE: First and foremost, accept that the person is not going to be around you physically, and also acknowledge the reasons behind getting into this phase; the variable reasons could be a job switch, financial needs, family circumstances, etc. Acceptance would make the couple sail through the phase smoothly.

COMMUNICATION: It is always suggested to talk about things with each other. Communication becomes a key aspect when people are in a long-distance relationship. However, one needs to understand that there is some leeway that needs to be given. Communicate because you feel like it and do not force yourself into it. Sharing things about each other’s day can help in maintaining a crucial connection even from afar.

USING TECHNOLOGY IN DIFFERENT WAYS: It is an excellent idea to use technology to your advantage such as making a video call, writing an E-mail, surprising through letters, online gifting to keep the spark alive in the relationship.

DOING ACTIVITIES TOGETHER: There is a need to explore and experience things together when people are in a relationship, but for some, it becomes difficult when there is a geographical distance. However, doing some activities together like watching a movie at the same time, virtually cooking together, or exploring one’s day virtually could help the couple sail through

MAINTAINING TRUST BEYOND THE DISTANCE: Even if there is a physical distance, attachment, and emotional connection can be sustained effectively. Trusting the partner becomes an important aspect of the relationship, whether long-distance or face to face. Try giving the virtual and personal space to each other, respecting, and accepting the changes. Try and avoid linking all the issues and concerns to physical distance.

Getting into a long-distance relationship is a unique phase that people go through; however, keeping in mind certain things, it can be managed effectively. As there can be times when things can be overwhelming and emotionally disturbing, self-care is important, including taking both physical and mental care of oneself.

(This article has been written by Dr Hirak Patel, Counselling Psychologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.)

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