There are no quick fixes to looking great: Dr. Aparna Santhanam

The festive season is here! Time to dress up and look your best. But, worries about the products that we use and the effect it has on our skin/hair can dampen our spirits.

As a special gift from us, we arranged for a chat with Dr. Aparna Santhanam who is a cosmetology, dermatology and hair expert to dispel your doubts.

Dr. Aparna has been responsible for establishing cosmetology as a science of beauty through her association with organisations like Cipla, Novartis, Kaya and Gal Derma.

Read the complete chat transcript here

my 11yrs old nephew has got kind of wart on his fingers,doctor gave ointment to burn the wart there was no use from it and as per his advice, he has been taking homeopathy medicine from past two months, but not much improvement
Warts are a viral infection,which do take time to go. Just persist with the treatment and he will surely respond.

I suffering with Skin Problem on my face with pimples & Open Pores 02mnth face was learskin. Earlier small pores we reappeared & later pores appeared to acne it leftmarks on my face. I even consulted Doc he recommd Nilac Geltwice daily but no changes.Pls sugg me a gud soln.
Nilac is a correct gel.In addition use a face wash for oily skin and you may also need some antibiotic like azithromycin.Use a toner without alcohol to reduce the pore size.Cut down sugar in your diet and increase orange red vegetables and fruits .

Recently I have some black sopts on my forehead. wht shld i do. Two years ago similar kind of blackspots happened but they disappeared automatically. wht is the root cause behind them & wht shld i do
Usually, black spots are becuse of sun pigmentation or hormonal changes.If they are really dark,you will need a prescription cream with kojic acid or arbutin.Increase vitamin c rich foods in your diet like citrus fruits to get natural lightening.

my skin is very sensative & tanned also.
Again, the single most important thing is to use sun protection. use umbrellas,glasses and a dual protection sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection.When you come in from the sun use a cold lotion of calamine to cool and soothe the skin.

i have few dark spots what to do?
The first thing for dark spots is to start using a sunscreen,so you can stop themm from increasing!Most lightening creams in the market contain niacinamide which works quite well.In case they still do not go,see a dermatologist who will prescribe a cream to you

Earliar i used black head stips of ponds, it was effective but it is not available in market now. Kindly suggest me alternative treatment.
you can try using creams with retinol or glycolic acid at night time.

CHICKEN POX SCAR REMOVAL by any ointment or by home remedy
This is very difficult to treat at home.Please see a dermatologist quickly.If she has marks,you can use sandalwood paste on them.

My wife has a boil in the armpit. Earlier it used come and disappear. But for the last few months its not healing and causing quite a pain. Please let me know what we should do to deal with this. Thanks
She will need to see a doctor who can give her a proper course of antibiotics to make it go fully.

aprna ji i am satish & i am 30 year old , my problem is i am so tired for hair front side
Hi satish,it sounds like you have male pattern hair loss.See a dermatologist immediately,who can give you minoxidil application or oral finasteride tablet which can make your hair grow again.

kindly suggest some skin care steps for oily scalp and skin
Use an appropriate shampoo and facewash.Avoid using too many creams or greasy products on scalp and hair.Eat a healthy diet rich in complex whole grains like jowar and bajra.

I am a 27 year old working person i have oily pimple pron skin and scalp and iam also having ecessive grey hairs kindly suggest some skin care to avoid pimple and dandruff.
Dandruff can be controlled very effectively by using any popular anti dandruff shampoo three times a week. Pimples usually need antibiotics and retinoids from a dermatologist. Grey hair can be delayed by the regular use of coconut oil on your scalp and hair.

My skin is dry type. How can I make my skin little shining ?
Use a good moisturiser with sunscreen during the day.Eat walnuts and almonds in your diet and drink plenty of water.

How the scar of face caused by sun tanning and pregnancy be cured fully?
Sun tan and pregnancy cause pigmentation not usually a scar.please see a dermatologist to get this treated as soon as possible.

In winter the skin of my entire body becomes dry and especially I faced a lot of problem for my face and hands as these are exposed to sun and air. I use various cold creams. Kindly advise me in this regard.
The most important thing is to moisturise adequatelly.Try a lotion formulation if creams are not working for you.Before you bathe,apply coconut oil ,wash off with a mild soap and the when your skin is moist use a moisturiser.Include more omega 3 fatty acids in your diet like fish,walnuts or flax seeds for maximum benefits.

I am 21 and am having a lot of pimples and spots on my face. i did try some remidies but nothing worked. Also my skin is very oily. i drink atleast 10 glasses of water, but that too didnt help.
Pimples are the most common skin problem.Do consult a dermatologist who can prescribe antibiotics along with retinoid cream application and appropriate facewash.Stop sugar and milk in your diet and include sprouts and whole grains for good skin health.

With Diwali round the corner, what are the quick fixes that you can suggest for a glowing skin?
Glowing skin is a matter of good internal care and regular external care,so quick fixes are not existent.You can use safe and mild makeup to give you the look and get on to to a regular regimen for everyday glowing skin!

I recently read that natural ingredients are good for skin as compared to the various chemical based products available in the market. Can you help me with natural ingredients that will suit normal skin type?
Natural ingredients are good for the skin in certain conditions but it is not always possible to compare with chemical formulations.Since you have normal skin,most things will suit you,you can use aloe vera,almond paste,coconut cream,cucumber and papaya ack.Just remember,even natural ingredients can give allergies,so test anything new on your elbow first before applying on your face

is it possible to clear light blemishes & hav flawless skin?
Yes, it is.Use a sunscreen and see a doctor for appropriate blemish treatment

7yr old top skin peeling from diff parts palms, finger and legs. had fever some days ago which is repeating. on antibiotics for 6 mths. a homeopath gave oil for applying on affected area.what is the correct method of treatment, any special food.
Post fever,skin peeling is normal.Oil is good,before bath use a moisturising lotion after bath.Eat more protein in your diet,eggs,soya,paneer,sprouts,walnuts,whole dals. your skin will recover

had lot of ulcers on lips, swollen gums 10 days back, i got blood test, primary herpes; doc feels not herpes but this week my 3 yr daugther got swollen, bleeding gums, confused. is it contagious? wht is the disease?
Herpes is a viral infection caused by HSV virus.take your daughter to a paediatrician who can treat her with anti virals. Also,check with your doc tor if it could be a vitamin C deficiency.

I am 38, fine horizontal lines have appeared to show on my forehead. used to do a facial regularly but of late no time. How can I get rid of it naturally suggestions?
usually forehead lines at rest indicate early loss of collagen.Eat more protein in your diet and use a night cream which addresses aging.If the lines appear while lifting your face,you can do yoga to relax the muscles.see a doctor to get advice on good anti aging creams and treatments like glycolic peels and fillers

I m having dry hair and bit of dandruff, loosing hair everyday at the age of 26, pls help
Dandruff can cause hair fall.Use a commercial anti dandruff shampoo three times a week and eat eggs and leafy green vegetables.If the problem persists,please see a dermatologist.

I am getting married next month and I want to ensure that I look my best during my wedding. Because it is going to be winter and my skin tends to get drier, can you suggest a way to enhance the glow of my skin and makes my skin supple?
Eat a lot of varied coloured fruits and vegetables.Include omega 3 in your diet from walnuts and flax seeds.use a good light moisturiser and sunscreen.Drink plenty of water and get adequate sleep.You will surely be a glowing bride!

i having red rashes a bit hard to feel on my leg
Could be an urticaria (allergy) or even a rash of the blood vessels.Please see a doctor immediately

How can one get rid of hyperpigmentation ?
Hyperpigmentation has many causes like sun exposure,hormonal changes or even certain inappropriate cosmetics.Do see a doctor to get it treated properly

Im a housewife n I face problem of dryness especially in my hands feet. I have tried using several creams but their effect lasts only for a couple of hrs. Plz suggest a lotion for me tht can keep my skin hydrated all day long.
Most commercial lotions need to be applied at least twice daily.Apply the lotion when your skin is still damp.A doctor will be able to give you medicated creams which might work better for you

i m 36 yrs old my hair is falling badly my scalp is becoming bald kindly guide me
Hi,You seem to be suffering from pattern hair loss.See a hair specialist withou delay to begin treatment immediately.It can definitely be corrected with the proper treatment and diet

I am in a marketing job profile and my work involves a lot of travelling. At the end of the day my skin looks really dull and lifeless. Please suggest a remedy for the same?
Since you are travelling, use a sunscrren with an spf of 30 and a uvb blocker everyday.Carry some high protein food like boiled eggs and mixed nuts with you.Drink plenty of water and eat atleast one meal which is high in coloured vegetables.Your skin will improve dramatically!

age 24, skin very loose,thin. dark complexion, use Lobate-gn medicated cream. got blemishes, many people told me it is not good for ur skin. i am worried about these. please give me some tips to do my skin clear & fair.
Hi,you definitely need to see a dermatologist,face to face.Lobate is a steroid stop it immediately and make that appointment today to correct your skin and get it better!

My skin type is dry and it worsens in winter. With winter around the corner I am worried. Please suggest remedies for my skin.
start using a good moisturiser.Ask your doctor for a vitamin with gamma linolenic acid and omega 3 fatty acids. use mild face washes and skin care products and drink plenty of water.

My skin has become extremely dull and lifeless after my marriage, and the change in my skin is noticeable. Even my husband talks on the deterioration in skin. Can u suggest ways to improve myskin quality? Suggest steps for my daily skin routine.
Firwt of all,check what has changed in your skin care post marriage?are you eating a healthy diet?do you spend time on yourself?get into a good cleansing,toning and moisturising routine suitable for your skin type.Sleep well,exercise regularly,be hapy.the early days can be hard because of adjustments in your new home,pay a little attention to yourself,it will reap rich rewards

how to have smooth hair?
You can use a leave in conditioner or even a serum with dimethicone or cyclomethicone for smooth hair after washing it.

Is it true that we should only moisturize during winter? I have been told that due to the hot climate in India, it is not required to moisturize rest of the year. Please clarify.
It depends on your skin type.If your skin is dry even in summers,then you should use a moisturiser.Similarly after 40 you usually need a light moisturiser even in summers.Be guided by your skin type as to your moisturising needs.

Should a separate moisturizer be used for dry skin and oily skin?
Ideally yes,Oily skin needs a very light lotion while dry skin needs a more creamy formulation.

Do you think exfoliation is important even in winters? If yes, what is the moisturizer that you suggest after it’s done?
Yes,exfoliation is important,only you may reduce the frequency in winters to about twice a week.Use a cream moisturiser with Vitamin E or aloevera to soothe the skin after exfoliation

how to get rid of dark marks near inner thighs
It is normal for Indian skin to be slightly dark on the thighs.if there is itching,it may a fungal infection,so see a doctor

hi, i have brittle hair, how to make it soft and full?
Brittle hair implies it breaks easily and you can get split ends.use a mild shampoo with an excellent conditioner as well as a leave in serum.Cut the hair above the split ends to make the hair less brittle

hi mam, pl cld u tell me if turmeric pwd is ok to use on mixed skin type?
Turmeric powder is ok as an antiseptic or as a part of a face pack with sandalwood and milk cream.Ensure that the quality of turmeric is good too.

My daughter 7 yrs old suffering with rashes in hand and all joints. Sometimes, it is ripe and blood comes. Pl. advise
Sounds like a dermatitis.please see a dermatologist as soon as possible.

My daugher Arpitha is 7 years. From 6 months onwards, she is struggling with rashes on the knee, and in all joints. We have applied all types of cream and used dermat related soaps. There is no solution?
She could be having atopic dermatitis which is a child hood related dry skin patient,children do outgrow it.Regular creams are needed for control,it will eventually go down.Use moisturisers liberally to protect and hydrate her skin.

my son is having dandruff and we tried several shampoos but still no result. Can you advise how to get rid of his dandruf. And also there are pimples on his face as well as rashes on his head. Please advise what medication and treatment for this
He appears to have a seborrheic profile with seborrheic dermatitis.He will need prescription creams and tablets.Please see a dermatologist today,if possible

Hi I am newly married and going for my honeymoon soon. We are going to Europe, so I’m afraid on getting very dry skin. Please suggest remedies for ensuring that my skin remains smooth during my trip.
Use a gentle soap free facewash twice a day and follow it up immediately with a cream based moisturising lotion.It will ensure you do not get dry skin.

I have a very sensitive skin and most moisturizers I’ve tried do not suit my skin. What do you recommend? Please advice on the same.
Use amoisturiser that says oil free for sensitive skin.Use a light lotion or gel formulation in sunscreens.

Am working in IT company, more than 9 hours working with system, my skin is going dry and dark circles, i dont like to use creams and all , please advise!…
Skin only gets better when you apply something on it,so find one appropriate moisturiser and use it daily.Dark circles are due to the strain of staring at a screen for long hours.Take a blink break every hour and do some yoga eye exercises for the eyes to relax them

Im23, face skin was good, ince 2 mths face filled with pimples, pores.left marks on face, paining. morning pores disappear; by eve appear. doc rec Nilac gel twice daily, no changes. tense. face is oily. please suggest
pores are openings of your oil glands,they become larger due to blockage.You may need oral isotretinoin,please ask your dermatologist about it!

Doctor, thanks for your time! Would you like to share a signing off note with the readers?
It was such a pleasure chatting with all of you.Have a lovely,happy glowing diwali,filled with light and devoid of noise:-) Chat soon with all of you again.Bye!

hi i have very dry skin and cnt find the intense moistrizing tht my skin needs. Ive heard about this parachute advansed body lotion which is coconut based? will tht give my skin the hydration it needs? does it suit all skin types including dry skin?
Yes,it is suitable for all skin types.Coconut based lotions have a unique method of moisturising which will definitelky give you great results so go ahead and use it!

i am 40 years old , past 15 years facing psoriasis problem , any lotion,cream u suggest for affected area
Psoriasis needs appropraite dermatological treatment.Moisturise regularly with a heavy duty cream with vitamins E and even D.See adoctor for more lasting response

is it okay to use conditioner every day? will it cause hairfall. what can be a natural conditioner, i live in chennai
No,conditioner will not cause hair can use it everyday.the best natural conditioner is coconut oil.You can use it as a pre conditioner before washing hair.

i use besan, haldi and curd, lemon mask alternative days for my dry skin face. is this right?
yes,you can use this no problems at all!

madam, i have spots on my elbow due to putting pressure. not going with moisturiser. pl suggest some home cure
Try a paste of milk cream,cucumber juice and sandalwood twice could also check for a prescription cream with a dermat

how to improve complexion, make my face bright, it is dull and lifeless, im just 16
Eat well ,lots of fruits vegetables,protein,Stop sugar in all forms and drink a lot of water to glow from within!

skin on back of neck is dark compared to ohter parts of neck. pl help
Use a sunscreen and a cream containg kojic acid.please get your thyroid levels tested immediately

hello, my toe nails have yellow patch. sometimes it pain hwat to do?
This sounds like an onychomycosis or fungal infection of toes.Please see adoctor for antifungal treatment before it spreads to other toes.

how to remove tiny warts from my face?
A dermatologist can easily remove them with a radiofrequency or an electrocautery machine.