The late November into the whole of december doesn’t just signify the end of the year; it also introduces the harmattan season. This is characterized by cold and dry air that affects several regions in West Africa. This harsh season can last from the end of November into January and mid-March in some regions. The harmattan season brings its usual dusty winds, dry air, and thick hazes, as well as diseases.
Furthermore, what also makes this season unique is the physical changes that we experience make this season unique. This may include dehydration, dry and cracked lips, and in most cases, dry skin. Many people with underlying health issues may also have it tough in periods like this. One study showed that harmattan can have adverse effects on people with cardiovascular diseases.
Thankfully, there are simple steps to help you get through the harsh weather that the harmattan brings. The list below is simple health tips for the harmattan season and how to take care of yourself properly.
How to stay healthy during harmattan
The following are some basic health tips for harmattan season.
1. Cover your nose and mouth when outside
During harmattan, the atmosphere is very dusty and dust particles can enter your eyes and nose. It is imperative to cover your nose and mouth with a face mask when outside. This will help you avoid inhalation of harmful dust particles.
2. Stay hydrated
To avoid dehydration induced by the excessive dryness of the air, it is recommended to boost fluid intake during this time. Having a bottle of water with you at all times may do the trick. Also, warm liquids, such as tea or coffee will help you stay warm while fighting the cold.
3. Eat healthy foods
Foods like fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals. Additionally, they are rich in water content, which can be taken to prevent dehydration from the air during the harmattan season. The fruit also aids in the battle against infections and resistance against a chronic cough and other illnesses linked to the common cold.
4. Wear appropriate clothes
It’s important to wear what’s appropriate for the weather, so you don’t easily catch a cold or develop dry skin. Thick, heat-absorbent clothing traps heat expelled from the body and limits heat emission to the environment. You can also introduce hand gloves, socks and well-covered footwear to guarantee maximum warmth. In addition, you can wear glasses to protect your eyes from dust particles, which causes redness and itchy eyes.
5. Moisturize your skin
During the harmattan phase, most people suffer chapped lips and dry skin. The following tips can help protect your skin’s texture and avoid dryness.
To keep your skin from drying out, use a good body moisturizer. They are quickly absorbed and help to keep the skin hydrated. Some effective moisturizers you can use may include olive oil and shea butter.
- Olive oils are high in healthy fatty acids, perfect to use on your skin to control dryness.
- Shea butter acts as an emollient, which works by softening and hydrating your skin. It also protects your skin from dust, dryness and harmful pollution in the air during harmattan seas. In addition, the fatty acids in the butter, such as linoleic, oleic, stearic and palmitic, helps to protect the skin.
You can read a more detailed article on the skincare tips for harmattan.
6. Take honey and cut lemons in warm water
This miracle combo is perfect for dry and irritating parts of your throat. It works by providing quick relief as honey is nature’s remedy for cough and sore throat. Honey can also be smeared on a snack or added to tea or coffee, depending on your preferences.
7. Get medical help when necessary
Harmattan can also cause people to have asthmatic attacks, sneezing and coughing. There is plenty of dust, pollen and hay fever, which causes irritation, inflammation of the airways and triggers allergic reactions. Thus, visit the hospital when you experience serious symptoms during the harmattan.
If you are wondering how to stay healthy during harmattan, then these health tips for harmattan will ensure that you are well protected and avoid any health challenges.