Dandruff is a common problem caused by the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. It can range from mild and temporary flaking to very large flakes shedding from the scalp all through the year. Although not contagious or serious, it can lead to physiological problems like hair loss, itchy scalp and redness of scalp and psychological issues like stress, lowering of self-esteem and depression.
Though dandruff mostly affects only the scalp, it is not uncommon to find them affecting the eyebrows, ears, beard and the hairy part of the chest.
What are the symptoms of Dandruff?
Dandruff is marked by the shedding of white flakes from the scalp followed by redness and itching. It can be due to an extremely dry or extremely oily scalp.
Dandruff can be triggered by several conditions and can be temporary, appearing only during extreme winters or can be a permanent condition lasting for years. Though one single condition cannot be pointed out, the below few are common causes for dandruff
1. Dry skin
2. Unclean scalp and hair
3. Not brushing the hair often
4. Usage of certain hair care products
5. Seborrhoeic dermatitis which is an inflammatory disorder
6. Being sensitive to yeast
7. Extreme stress can trigger dandruff
8. Diet – imbalance in nutrients can trigger the condition
How to treat the condition?
Based on the severity of the condition, there are several treatment options available.
Anti dandruff shampoos are the first choice for most people suffering from this problem. There are few chemical ingredients present in these shampoos that can work on the dead cells.
· Selenium Sulphide
· Coal Tar
· Salicylic acid
Users are advised to choose a shampoo and use them regularly for at least a few weeks before seeing results. It is usually observed that dandruff becomes immune to a particular composition when used for a long time so it is advised to switch between different chemical ingredients for maximum effect.
· Wet the hair
· Take a coin sized shampoo in the palms and spread across the scalp
· Massage gently for a couple of minutes
· Wash hair and repeat
Brush the hair using firm, steady strokes. This will clear up the scalp of dead cells and oil and keep it healthy and clean.
Few natural ingredients are also proven to work on dandruff.
· Tea tree oil
· Apple cider vinegar
· Lemon and baking soda
· Green tea
· Aloe vera
Mental stress can work on triggering dandruff. Enough rest, complete peace of mind and 7-8 hours of sleep everyday can work wonders in curing the problem. Extreme dry climates can also cause dandruff.
If the user experiences shedding of flakes, itchiness and redness of scalp even after using over the counter anti dandruff and anti fungal shampoos, it is advised to consult a dermatologist immediately.