Well-being Q&A: Dandruff and growth


Staff member

I am a 32-year-old man who has had severe dandruff for the past two years. There are large patches of dry skin on my scalp as well. I have tried several medications but they have not helped. Please advise.

M, Dubai

One important thing you need to watch is your diet; favour eggs, carrot and garlic in your food. You may try some of the below-mentioned home remedies. See a doctor if these don't help. Flaking and dry patches on the scalp may be symptoms of other skin diseases too.

  • Ayurvedic oils like Dhurdhoorapathradi keram*, Eladi keram*, Chemparathyadi keram*, Malathyadi thailam*, Thriphaladi keram* can be used to massage the scalp before bathing.
  • Mix Henna leaves (Lawsonia inermis*) with coconut oil and keep where it gets the direct sunlight for seven days. Sieve this mixture and apply to the scalp two hours before bathing.
  • Mix triphala* - that is, haritaki or black myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), bibhitaki or belearic myrobalan (Terminalia belerica) and amalaki orgooseberry (Emblica officinalis) - with water and apply to the scalp. Wash with lukewarm water.
  • Mix coconut milk and lemon juice and apply on scalp before shampooing.
  • Grind mustard seeds with a little water. Apply this paste on the scalp and wash. Repeat for a week.
  • Rub peanut oil into the scalp then apply the juice of a lemon. Leave on for five minutes and then shampoo as normal.
  • Mix green gram powder (1 tablespoon) and curd (3 tablespoons) and wash your hair in it weekly.

I'm 29 years old and 1.52 metres tall. A friend of mine offered me a medicine from the United States which he claims will make me grow tall. Will this have any side effects?

AB, by email

I can't comment on the side effects without knowing what the medicine is. What I can do is give you some information about how human beings grow.

We grow at a steady rate for the first ten to twelve years of our lives, then experience a growth spurt for the next two years. After this, our growth rate slows until it stops at the end of puberty. This usually happens around age 18 for girls and 20 for boys. The final stages of this growth occurs in the growth plates (epiphyses) at the end of the long bones. During puberty they begin to solidify. It is agreed that once the epiphyses have fused, further growth is not possible. Even overproduction of growth hormones will not help lengthen long bones among adults (over the age of 21) whose growth plates have closed. I believe 99 per cent of all height-increase supplements, medicines, and height stimulating products are scams.

Doing postural exercises may help make a difference of around 1 centimetre to your standing height.

*Available at shops selling herbal products