Tackle your hair and skin problems with expert help from Dr Dinesh Jain.
Dear Reader, worried about your skin?
Or your hair?
Is acne the bane of your existence?
Or dandruff causing you embarrassment?
Do send in your queries about your skin and hair problems to Dr Dinesh Jain at firstname.lastname@example.org (SUBJECT: Ask Dr Jain).
Hello Dr Jain.
I am 41 years old and I have had grey hair since I was 14 years old.
I apply mehendi (henna) from childhood on my hair.
Is there any solution to grow black hair, if possible?
Is there any other option other than mehendi? I am afraid of using dyes as it may affect my remaining black hair.
You get grey hair when your hair loses the pigment called melanin. Though the cause is genetic in most, you can also get premature greying due to different causes that include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Antimalarial drugs
- Chronic illness
- Nutritional deficiencies
It would have been great if you had started taking treatment in your teens, when your hair started to grey.
Nevertheless, you can still slow down the process of greying and have healthy hair at the same time.
There are medicated treatments to prevent greying of hair. Before you consider them, do get evaluated by a good dermatologist. They will recommend a blood test so that they can evaluate your condition and suggest appropriate treatment.
Meanwhile, this is what you can do.
- Ensure you consume a good diet that is rich in Vitamin B12, proteins and other nutrients.
- A multivitamin pill can also be a good support.
- Avoid too much exposure to heat as it can damage hair tissue.
- Antioxidants form the mainstay of your treatment so you can take an antioxidant pill. You can also get good antioxidants from your diet.
Foods that help reduce greying:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Sunflower seeds
If you wish to colour your grey hair, use good quality mehendi or ammonia free hair dyes.
Dear Dr Jain
My name is Binoj Kumar and I am 48.
My hair is very thin and I have dandruff problems since childhood.
I have controlled my hair fall in the last 3-4 years but I am very worried about my thin hair. Is there any solution to make it stronger?
Thinning of hair has many causes.
Primarily, it is due to aging, skin infections, various skin diseases/skin conditions and hormonal changes.
The good news is that you can still get treated and get much thicker hair than you currently have.
Consult a good doctor, who will run certain tests and evaluate your condition.
Also a hair and scalp examination is mandatory, as you have mentioned that dandruff is a major problem. You may be having a long standing fungal or bacterial infection that has caused excessive thinning.
Do remember, a good diet, regular exercise and sound sleep are complementary to any medical treatment.
The following remedial measures will help with your hair thinning problem:
- Wash your hair 2-3 times a week with a good anti-dandruff shampoo.
- Consume a diet rich in proteins, vitamin B12, vitamin D3 and Biotin.
- Start treatment to reduce hormonal thinning and balding by using medicated lotions which aid blood circulation in the scalp as well as reduce the effect of the hormones.
- Regular massages without oil at least once or twice a week.
- Take an oral multivitamin pill for a period of at least 1-3 months.
I am a 49-year-old man. Lately, I have developed an itchy scalp.
I had alopecia (a condition that causes hair to fall our in small patches). I have recovered but now have a four finger-sized bald patch on the crown of my head. My hair is thinning too.
I have done my blood test -- my Vitamin D, thyroid, iron... all levels are normal.
There is no stress.
I get seven hours sound sleep too.
I am vegetarian and there is no heredity of balding in my family.
Once a week, I use warm coconut/castor oil with some lemon drops and leave it in my hair for 7-8 hours.
I use Patanjali Coconut Kesh Raksha shampoo.
For conditioner, I use egg yolk and yoghurt and after that I use Dr Hauschka Neem Scalp Tonic.
What are your thoughts on Biotin 500 tablets?
If you can please guide me with any simple home remedies, I will be grateful.
Looking forward to hear from you.
The fact that you have recovered from alopecia is a good sign.
From your description, it looks like you were suffering from androgentic alopecia or male pattern baldness, starting from your crown area.
While the cause for androgenetic alopecia is mainly hormonal, many factors can add to this.
We should aim at controlling them while preventing you from balding further. We should also try to reverse your hair thinning and bald patch problems.
First, the don'ts
- Don't use too much oil. While oil serves as a conditioner, its overuse and leaving it on for too long can cause blocking of the pores and damage of hair.
- Don't use so many different oils. Use only one thin oil as a conditioner. Don't expect the use of these oils to result in hair growth or prevent balding.
- Don't take high doses of Biotin. While Biotin is no doubt good for hair, it can have side effects when used in excess. First, evaluate whether you have a deficiency in Biotin and then decide what dose to take under the guidance of an expert.
Now, the do's
- Start with a medicated hair oil which will reduce the thinning and help grow thick hair.
- Take multivitamin tablets as vitamin deficiency causes hair thinning.
- Consume proteins, vitamins and Biotin-rich foods on a regular basis.
- Exercise, yoga, meditation and adequate sleep all have a role to play in hair health.
I have been suffering from psoriasis (a skin disease that causes red, itchy scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp) for the last 20 years.
I have tried various medications -- homeopathy, allopathy and Ayurveda -- but none have worked.
Can you please suggest an effective medication please?
Name withheld on request.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder of the skin where you get thick patches and plaques of skin, usually symmetrically and many times itchy.
Normally, even if you get relief with medication, the patches reoccur.
Of late, biologic therapy has shown promise but it sometimes has undesirable side effects.
We treat psoriasis with a combination of autologous cells and laser, which reduces the lesions significantly.
I would suggest that you follow up with your dermatologist and get regular guidance to treat your psoriasis.
These recommendations below will help:
- Shift to a Mediterranean diet.
- Yoga, meditation and regular exercise will help.
- Keep your skin moist always by using Vaseline or a good moisturiser.
- Take oral multivitamin and an antioxidant supplement.
- Stress should be reduced to a minimum.
Hello Dr Jain.
This is Mitesh Shah, age 45.
Whenever any metal comes in contact with my skin, I tend to get rashes.
For example, if I wear a watch with a metal strap or a bracelet of any metal, I get rashes on my wrist. It gets very, very itchy and, in no time, I get some small boils which oozes out some transparent liquid due to abrasions.
Similarly, with a chain, I get rashes and itchiness all around my neck.
This has been happening since the last 20 years.
Can you help?
Thanks and regards,
It looks like you are allergic to metals and I strongly recommend a metal allergy test.
Avoid wearing watches with metal straps and bases.
Most people are not allergic to pure silver and gold ornaments. Once your report detects which metal/s is/are causing your allergy, you can then get ornaments accordingly.
Home remedies include:
- Don't use strong soap on the affected area.
- Use soothing lotions, such as calamine lotion, which will help ease the itching.
- Moisturise regularly. Your skin has a natural barrier that's disrupted when it reacts to nickel and other metals causing allergy.
- Apply cold, wet compresses that can help dry blisters and relieve itching.
Dr Dinesh Jain is based in Mumbai and practises at Sparsh -- the Aesthetic Clinic. He is a well known cosmetologist and specialises in anti-ageing regenerative medicine, hair regrowth and stem cell-based treatment.
His qualifications include an MBBS, DV&D, MD and an MSc.
In his two decades of practice, he has treated thousands of patients including many Bollywood stars.
Please mail your skin care queries to Dr Jain at email@example.com (SUBJECT: Ask Dr Jain)
Do note: This column is an advisory. Please consult your doctor before beginning any treatment.