Dermatology Q&A: Skincare tips for the festive season

Dr. Aparna Santhanam, consultant dermatologist, answers readers’ questions on Dermatology. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Friday.
This week’s answers:

1. I have a very bad habit of shampooing my hair everyday ( I use Johnson baby shampoo ) although I apply Bajaj almond drop hair oil before shampooing daily. As a result, my hair has become very rough and grey which results in me being unable to do any proper styling. Could you suggest any remedy to make my hair smooth and silky as well as reduce grey hair? Also my hair is very curly. Is there any natural way to straighten hair because i have heard hair straighteners have harmful side effects?
Soumabrata Ghosh

The frequency of shampooing hair can be different for different types of hair.From what you write,your hair type sounds dry to normal and curly.It is sufficient for you to wash your hair twice a week. Oiling your hair before every shampoo is essential. I would recommend using coconut oil.. It is an excellent conditioner as it achieves up to 90% hair penetration right through to the cortex, and forms a protective layer around your hair preventing it from damaging effects of heat and dirt, and also helps protect against loss of vital proteins from hair.It also penetrates the scalp,nourishes it and maintains its health and delays graying. Leave oil for at least an hour on your hair and do not forget to oil the ends of your hair as well. A leave in serum after wash applied to your hair tips will help the dryness.Curly hair is beautiful too,just keep it conditioned and well nourished.

2. Dear Dr.Aparna,  I am 47 years old and my hair is gradually falling and becoming bald starting from the fore head. Can you please advise me to arrest the hair fall and to increase hair growth?

From what you describe,you appear to have two types of hair loss,falling and thinning.Add more protein rich foods to your diet like eggs,sprouts and paneer.You would need special hair vitamins containing biotin,and amino acids as well as prescription medicines for the thinning.Do visit a dermatologist as soon as possible for best results.

3. My daughter is 21 years old. She has pimples marks in the face can you please suggest as to how we can remove the marks?

Ramasamy Ravichandran

Pimples are one of the most common skin problems and need appropriate treatment to prevent marks and scars. There are a lot of creams in the market but I would strongly advise a dermatological evaluation of the grade of pimples so as to initiate a proper treatment.
Ask your daughter to reduce sugar and milk products in her diet. Plenty of coloured vegetables and fruits and fluids like water and coconut water are beneficial as support treatment.But,it is important to treat this immediately.

3. Where Dr. Aparna Santhanam is practising can I have an appointment with her?

I practise in Mumbai and have my clinic in Chembur in Mumbai.

5. What are the natural ingredients that are good for skin care? Any quick skin care tips for this festive season?


Natural ingredients are extremely effective skin care. Coconut oil and cream, for instance, penetrate the skin very effectively and hence enhance moisture levels from within. They also strengthen the skin’s natural lipid layer and improve skin texture remarkably. Honey is also an effective natural ingredient for skin care. Natural ingredients can be scientifically and therapeutically very effective too.

Tips for festive season:

· A good skin care routine is a must to observe in the festive season.
· Food habits during the festival days such as sugar and dairy products normally increase pimples and acne.
· The Diwali evening will be a nightmare for many people who suffer with skin allergies due to the crackers.
· Make it a point to eat orange red coloured fruits and vegetables to pump up the carotene levels, drink plenty of water

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