I would suck my index finger when I was young. This went on for several years. Now, the nail bed is thick and the nail grows in an asymmetrical shape. It is purely a cosmetic issue but it bothers me. Can it be repaired through any natural remedy or any ointments or surgery? I’m willing to try anything out to get it fixed.

You childhood habit has damaged your nail bed permanently. Chewing your nails for months or years can lead to trauma of the lunula, the part of your nail bed where your nail grows. Temporary or permanent damage can occur, causing your nail to get bumpy ridges or lines. I need to see you in person to assess the level of damage and see the condition of the nail and suggest you about the treatment options. Meanwhile, you can try using ACM nail cream.

A few years ago I noticed a small black spot appearing on my foot. At first I thought it was a burst blood vessel. But it has been two years since then. And it has only gotten bigger. It's black and I can't see any red for signs of blood. I'm worried that it might be something a bit worse than that, especially that my mother, grandmother and aunt all had cancer, to which sadly my aunt died of earlier this year. So I don't want to cause any worry. Can I get some suggestions or your opinion please?

Keeping your family history of malignancies in view, I would recommend you to get yourself checked regularly. Any abnormal growth or an unusual rash that has stayed on your body for more than two to four weeks must be ruled out. In your case, it’s advised to see your dermatologist as soon as possible. We have special gadgets to see skin lesions and sometimes we perform skin biopsies to confirm our diagnosis.

I have brown skin and my dermatologist confirmed I have dermal hyperpigmentation. Treatments are costly, what are some of the things I can do that will alleviate the hyperpigmentation?

Dermal pigmentation is one of the most difficult things to treat even with lasers. It usually has a grey tinge to it. Black and brown ones are usually epidermal pigmentation, which are comparatively more superficial and easy to treat with topical medications, creams, chemical peels and also lasers. So, I would like to see you in person to confirm the diagnosis.

I’m 29 weeks pregnant. I’ve started to get a lot of acne and was thinking to start my treatment with a dermatologist but according to my sister the medications the dermatologist would prescribe wouldn’t be safe for the baby and it’s better to visit the doctor after the delivery. What would you suggest? Is it okay to start treatment during pregnancy or it’s better to wait?

We come across pregnancy induced acne very commonly. Its associated with the hormonal surge in most cases which clogs up the pores and you endup having zits. What you can do at home is do a proper cleansing of your face twice a day with a soap free cleanser and wash your hair regularly. Choose your products wisely. Increase your water intake and eat smart. Cutting out on your sugar and refined grains would work wonders. Add fresh fruits and colourful vegetables in your diet. Talk to your dermatologist regarding safe options in treating acne during pregnancy.

What is your opinion on scrubbing? Apparently everyone tells me I should scrub my skin often but every time I do it I get a couple of puss filled pimples. People say it’s okay to get them as it’s bringing out the dirt inside my skin but that doesn’t make much sense to me. Should I continue scrubbing or quitting is best for me?

A big no to scrubbing. Please use gentle exfoliants preferably containing fruit acids only. Be gentle with your skin. Something that works very well for my patients is Granex Anti Acne Spray. It contains activated glycyrrhizic acid that has antibacterial effect against propionibacterium acne. It also dissolves fatty deposition from pores and controls sebum production. Presence of aloe Vera provides oil free moisturisation to the skin.