Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. Dandruff is a common scalp disorder affecting almost half of the population at the post-pubertal age and of any gender and ethnicity. It often causes itching. It has been well established that keratinocytes play a key role in the expression and generation of immunological reactions during dandruff formation. The severity of dandruff may fluctuate with season as it often worsens in winter. Most cases of dandruff can be easily treated with specialized shampoos. There is, however, no true cure.
The dry flakes of dead skin on the scalp results in itching, hair loss, damaged hair, skin problems etc. The causes of dandruff are uncleanness, mental tension, fever, infection, excessive use of shampoos, hormonal problems, Eating lots of fried items, chocolates etc.
Causes of Dandruff
Most of us have experienced dandruff once or more times in our lifetime. Dandruff can have several causes, including the following:
1) Dry skin: Simple dry skin is the most common cause of dandruff. Flakes from dry skin are generally smaller and less oily than those from other causes of dandruff, and you’ll likely have symptoms and signs of dry skin on other parts of the body, such as your legs and arms.
2) Irritated, oily skin: (Seborrheic dermatitis). This condition is one of the most frequent causes of dandruff, is marked by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. Seborrheic dermatitis may affect your scalp and other areas rich in oil glands, such as your eyebrows, the sides of your nose and the backs of your ears, your breastbone, your groin area, and sometimes your armpits.
3) Not shampooing often enough: If you don’t regularly wash your hair, oils and skin cells from your scalp can build up, causing dandruff.
4) Skin conditions: People with skin conditions such as eczema a chronic, inflammatory skin condition or psoriasis a skin condition marked by a rapid buildup of rough, dry, dead skin cells that form thick scales may appear to have dandruff.
5) A yeast-like fungus (malassezia) lives on the scalps of most adults, but for some, it irritates the scalp. This can irritate your scalp and cause more skin cells to grow. The extra skin cells die and fall off, making them appear white and flaky in your hair or on your clothes. Why malassezia irritates some scalps isn’t known.
6) Sensitivity to hair care products (contact dermatitis)*. Sometimes sensitivities to certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes, especially paraphenylenediamine, can cause a red, itchy, scaly scalp. Shampooing too often or using too many styling products also may irritate your scalp, causing dandruff.
Risk Factors for Dandruff
Almost anyone can have dandruff, but certain factors can make you more susceptible:
1) Age: Dandruff usually begins in young adulthood and continues through middle age. That doesn’t mean older adults don’t get dandruff. For some people, the problem can be lifelong.
2) Being male: Because more men have dandruff, some researchers think male hormones may play a role. Men also have larger oil-producing glands on their scalps, which can contribute to dandruff.
3) Oily hair and scalp: Malassezia feeds on oils in your scalp. For that reason, having excessively oily skin and hair makes you more prone to dandruff.
4) Poor diet: If your diet lacks foods high in zinc, B vitamins or certain types of fats, you may be more likely to have dandruff.
5) Certain illnesses: For reasons that aren’t clear, adults with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, are more likely to develop seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. So are people with HIV infection and those recovering from stressful conditions, particularly heart attack and stroke, and those with compromised immune systems.
Treatment and Drugs for Removing Dandruff
Dandruff can almost always be controlled, but dandruff treatment may take patience and persistence. In general, daily cleansing with a gentle shampoo to reduce oiliness and skin cell buildup can often help mild dandruff.
When regular shampoos fail, you can buy dandruff shampoos at a pharmacy. But dandruff shampoos aren’t all alike, and you may need to experiment until you find one that works for you.
If you develop itching, stinging, redness or burning from any product, stop using it. If you develop an allergic reaction, such as a rash, hives or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention.
Dandruff Hair Cleanser
Dandruff shampoos are classified according to the medication they contain:
Zinc pyrithione shampoos (such as Head & Shoulders, Jason Dandruff Relief 2 in 1, others). These contain the antibacterial and antifungal agent zinc pyrithione, which can reduce the fungus on your scalp that can cause dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
Tar-based shampoo (such as Neutrogena T/Gel). Coal tar, a byproduct of the coal manufacturing process, helps conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis by slowing how quickly skin cells on your scalp die and flake off.
Shampoos containing salicylic acid (such as Neutrogena T/Sal). These “scalp scrubs” help eliminate scale, but they may leave your scalp dry, leading to more flaking. Using a conditioner after shampooing can help relieve dryness.
Selenium sulfide shampoos (such as Selsun Blue). These shampoos slow your skin cells from dying and may also reduce malassezia. Because they can discolor blond, gray or chemically colored hair, be sure to use them only as directed, and rinse well after shampooing.
Ketoconazole shampoos (such as Nizoral). Ketoconazole is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent that may work when other shampoos fail. It’s available over-the-counter as well as by prescription.
Try using one of these shampoos daily or every other day until your dandruff is controlled; then cut back to two or three times a week, as needed. If one type of shampoo works for a time and then seems to lose its effectiveness, try alternating between two types of dandruff shampoos.
Be sure to massage the shampoo into the scalp well and then leave the shampoo on for at least five minutes this gives the ingredients time to work. If you’ve shampooed faithfully for several weeks and there’s still a dusting of dandruff on your shoulders, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. You may need a prescription-strength shampoo or treatment with a steroid lotion.
Lifestyle Changes for Dandruff Treatment
In addition to regular shampooing, you can take steps in changing daily routine to reduce risk of developing dandruff:
1) Learn to manage stress: Stress affects your overall health, making you susceptible to a number of conditions and diseases. It can even help trigger dandruff or worsen existing symptoms.
2) Shampoo often: If you tend to have an oily scalp, daily shampooing may help prevent dandruff.
3) Cut back on styling products: Hair sprays, styling gels, mousses and hair waxes can all build up on your hair and scalp, making them oilier.
4) Eat a healthy diet: A diet that provides enough zinc, B vitamins and certain types of fats may help prevent dandruff.
5) Get a little sun: Sunlight may be good for dandruff. But because exposure to ultraviolet light damages your skin and increases your risk of skin cancer, don’t sunbathe or stay too long in the sun. Instead, just spend a little time outdoors. And be sure to wear sunscreen on your face and body.
6) Tea tree oil has been proved to be of a tremendous benefit on fighting dandruff.
Foods for Treating Dandruff
Dandruff: Ayurvedic Natural Home Remedies
The shampoos, soaps are harmful to the hair and they cannot completely cures dandruff so it is better to use home made remedies to overcome dandruff problem.
1. Fenugreek (Menthi) paste applied on the scalp an hour before taking bath helps to overcome Dandruff problem.
2. Applying Lemon juice on the scalp 10 minutes before taking head bath helps to remove Dandruff.
3. Sour Curd applied on the scalp an hour before taking bath helps to get rid of Dandruff.
4. Reetha (Soap nut) used for washing hair helps to get relief from Dandruff.
5. Indian Gooseberries (Amla) paste applied on the scalp before taking bath helps to get relief from Dandruff.
6. Hibiscus leaves boiled in small quantity of water and used along with Shikakai as a hair wash instead of soap, shampoo helps in reducing Dandruff problem. This is a natural hair conditioner.
7. Gram flour (Besan) mixed with Curd applied on the scalp before bath helps to remove Dandruff.
8. Boiled Beetroot leaves used for washing hairs helps to get rid of Dandruff.
9. Regular oil massage on the scalp helps to get relief from Dandruff.
10. Neem paste or sweet neem (Curry patta) paste mixed with Basil (Tulsi) paste applied on the scalp helps to remove Dandruff.
11. Grinded Pigeon pea (Arhar dal) applied on the scalp before taking bath helps to remove Dandruff.
12. Applying Crushed raw Papaya (Papita) paste on the scalp 10 minutes before taking bath is very helpful. This process assists in the exfoliation of dandruff flakes and slow down fungal growth. Papaya contains enzyme papain which is very helpful in redducing dandruff and hair fall problem.
Ayurvedic Home Remedies Health Guides
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