During harmattan, the air is cold and dry. You may experience dry skin and broken lips. A cough is usually prevalent due to the dry dirty air inhaled from the surroundings.
In addition, the weather makes people susceptible to cold and although the body has adaptive mechanisms that help reduce the effects of cold, it is only wise to take care of ourselves in order to prevent infections and keep warm. Here are simple tips to help you go through this harmattan season in Nigeria:
Drink honey and lemon dissolved in warm water
This will help to soothe the dry irritated areas of the throat and give you the comfort you need. Honey is a natural remedy for a sore throat and cough. You can also use the honey by spreading it in a snack or putting in tea/coffee as it suits you. This is an effective relief for cold and cough
Take enough water
It is advisable to increase fluid intake at this time to reduce dehydration caused by extreme dryness of the air. Simply ensure you have a bottle of water with you at all times to increase the motility of mucus. Warm drinks like tea or coffee will help provide you with warmth to fight cold.
Eat fruits and veggies
These are good sources of vitamins and minerals. They contain a high water content, which helps to reduce dehydration caused by the dry air this period. The fruit also helps fight infections and build immunity against a chronic cough and other infections associated with common cold.
Wear the right clothes
Wearing the right clothes in the right weather helps to prevent common cold and cough. Thick and heat absorbable clothes keep heat released from the body trapped inside and limit radiation of heat to the surroundings. Hand gloves and well-covered shoes also provide enough warmth that you need.
People usually develop cracked lips and skin during this harmattan period. The following can help protect the integrity of your skin and prevent dryness.
Good body moisturizers can be used to prevent dryness of the skin. They are easily absorbable and increase the hydration of the skin. Other home-made moisturizers are:
Olive oil: This contains many fatty acids and healthy fat that are good for your skin. You can apply this to the skin after taking your bath to reduce skin dryness.
Creams with milk content: Are excellent moisturizers as they help to exfoliate dry skin and give room for the rejuvenation of new skin cells to replace worn ones.
You can apply coconut oil to your skin after taking your bath. It is absorbable and it makes your skin smooth and soft.
Foods like beans, carrots, tomatoes and peas with anti-oxidants and omega3 fatty acids e.g. salmon help to repair damaged cells and contribute to a glowing skin
For dried lips, Vaseline and balms are good to prevent breaking lips if used regularly.
This article was written by Edokita Health, an online health information and medical consultation platform. Visit for free medical consultation with Edokita health professionals on any health-related issues.
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