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Dr K K Aggarwal

Tips for a safe Holi

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Tips for a safe Holi

  • Green and bluish green chemicals contain malachite green, which can be toxic to the eyes. Auramine, methyl violet, rhodamine and orange II are all phototoxic colors and can damage the skin.
  • Mica in Holi colors can damage the skin.
  • Instead of chemical dyes, one should use floral dyes. Flowers like Marigold, China rose, Butterfly Pea, Flame of the Forest etc. are used for the extraction of colors.
  • ‘Bhang’ or cannabis can precipitate acute abnormal mental behavior and psychosis. In the susceptible individuals, it can increase the heart rate and blood pressure. Pre treatment with a beta blocker can take away the bad effects of bhang.
  • Alcohol can impair judgment and make prone to accidents.
  • Balloons can cause blunt injuries to the eyes and precipitate head injuries.
  • Beware of date rape drugs. Do not play Holi with strangers.
  • Do not throw color at sensitive parts of the body, such as eyes. If color enters the eye, immediately wash it with a lot of water. If irritation persists, medical aid should be sought immediately.

Balloons used by children during Holi can be dangerous and can cause blunt eye injury or even head injury. There can be bleeding in the eyes, lens subluxation, macular edema or retinal detachment. These can lead to loss of vision or even loss of the eye.

Most synthetic colours are harmful to the eyes or skin.  Home-made floral colours are always better. Chemical colours may contain heavy metals like lead which is harmful to the eyes and skin. Other health hazards due to the exposure to heavy metals include skin allergies, dermatitis, drying and chapping of the skin, skin cancer, rhinitis, asthma and pneumonia.

Make your own floral colours

1.    Mix ‘Haldi’ (turmeric) with flour to get yellow colour

2.     Petals of flowers of ‘tesu’ give saffron colour.

3.    ‘Beetroot’ pieces soaked in water can give magenta colour.

What to do: Chemicals that goes in the eye may cause mild allergy or even severe chemical burn in the eye. A patient may present with allergic conjunctivitis, chemical burn, corneal abrasion or blunt eye injury. Most colours used during Holi usually cause mild redness and irritation lasting for upto 48 hours. If clarity of vision is affected, it’s an emergency. The particles in colour powders (shining mica particles in ‘gulal’) can cause damage to the cornea. Corneal abrasion is an emergency and one should immediately consult the eye doctor or ophthalmologist.

First aid: Splash a lot of tap water if any colour enters the eye. If there is vision loss, corneal abrasions, rush to the eye doctor.