Dr. Apratim Goel Debunks Common Skin & Hair Myths

Dr. Apratim Goel, renowned Cosmetic Dermatologist shares insights on some of the most common & prevalent skin and hair myths.

Dr. Goel Performing Procedure
Dr. Goel Performing a Procedure

Dr. Apratim Goel is the Medical Director of Cutis Skin Studio® & Senior Cosmetic Dermatologist based in Mumbai. Dr. Goel, an expert in the field of non-surgical cosmetic enhancement is nationally recognized for her exemplary work in lasers to treat various skin & hair conditions. She has been a part of NDTV Good Time’s famous bridal makeover show Band Baja Bride as their ‘Skin Expert’ in several episodes.  Her chain of treatment centers in Mumbai is located in Bandra & Kemps Corner. You can reach her at 022 2642 5827, +91 99309 45588 or email at mdcutis@hotmail.com


If curiosity can kill the cat, so does ignorance. Myths are like that. We tend to believe and practice what we hear from people around us without cross checking its scientific authenticity and credibility. Here we have an expert’s opinion on demystifying some common myths on skin and hair care.

Myth: Laser hair removal is unsafe and the effect doesn’t last long.

Laser hair removal is one of the latest and the most reliable source for laser hair reduction. It is true that it is laser hair reduction rather than removal but causes 80-90% reduction in hair growth. The remaining hair tend to become fine and sparse. It is an extremely safe procedure as it only targets the active hair follicle without damaging the skin. It in fact improves the overall skin quality in terms of reduction in ingrowths, folliculitis, break-outs etc. Some very small percentage of people may have new hair growth due to hormonal or menopausal changes. There are no long-term side-effects after laser hair reduction if done by trained certified person.

Myth: Home remedies or dadi maa ke nuskhe work better than clinical skin procedures.

I am not against home remedies but they definitely do not work better than clinical  procedures and for sure do not work for all skin conditions. I am often amazed by the faith of my patients in these home remedies. In fact in my experience sometimes these can also induce adverse-effects especially for people with sensitive or problematic skin. People who tend to have acne or eczema are better by seeing a dermatologist and taking a proper treatment for their condition. Using home remedies on such skin types can aggravate the condition and may induce pigmentation and scarring. One needs to be very aware of the products they are mixing at home and their effect is different on different skin types. Home remedies use natural ingredients that can be both useful as well as harmful for the skin if not used properly. Clinical procedures on the other hand are standardised protocols all over the world and are professionally performed by experts who have the knowledge about it. They are well studied and are chosen to suit your skin type and expectations.

Myth: Higher SPF sun protection creams works better and for longer hours.

SPF mainly gives a guide to how much sun protection is afforded by a particular sunscreen. The higher the SPF, the greater is the UVA protection. However, that doesn’t mean the sunscreen will work for longer hours. Sunscreen whether SPF15 or SPF 50 has to be applied every 2-3 hours. The higher SPF just gives more protection from the harmful UV rays but gets ineffective in 2-3 hours just as much as lower SPF creams. Also the protective effect is not directly proportional to the increase in SPF. Hence choose a sunscreen with SPF around 30.

Myth: Acne is caused by chocolates & spicy food.

Acne is a condition formed because sebaceous glands openings get blocked with excess of normal skin cells which combine with sebum creating a plug in the follicle. During adolescence the glands that produce sebum, known as sebaceous glands, enlarge and hence sebum production increases. Inflammation occurs as a result of bacterial (P.Acnes) overgrowth which ruptures the follicle and forms acne. Hormones (Androgens) Pregnancy, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Oral contraceptives, Oral and topical Corticosteroids, Stress, Oil-based cosmetics, Oily hair products are common causes of acne. Food like chocolates and spicy food do not induce more acne. More than what to put in the mouth, I would say,  watch for what to put on the skin.

Myth: Repeated Shaving makes hair grow thicker.

No. Shaving doesn’t make the hair thicker or coarser. Hair has a tendency to taper towards its tip. It is thick from the base. Hence when one shaves, the stub that grows out of the skin is thick and continues to grow out that way and tapers after a while. This just makes an illusion of thicker darker hair. Shaving has no effect on hair thickness or hair growth.

Inputs by Dr. Apratim Goel, MD, DNB – Medical Director, Cutis Skin Studio, Mumbai

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