Dandruff is the excessive scaling of the scalp that effects more than 50% of the population. Dandruff may be due to stress or a chronic or recurrent skin disorder, such as seborrheic dermatitis. The most likely cause is infection by pytyrosporum ovale fungus. This fungus is found naturally on the scalp but some people are more affected by it than others. This fungus feeds on skin’s natural oils and causes irritation and shedding of the dead skin.
The flakes produced from dandruff can be white or yellow in color, and greasy. In addition to the scalp, flaking may be noticed around the ears, nose and eyebrows.People who have very oily skin and hair are more prone to develop dandruff. In winter, when the scalp is dry, many people shed flakes of dandruff.
Causes of Dandruff
Being sensitive to certain hair-care products or having a scalp fungus called malassezia can lead to Dandruff. Dandruff may develop from skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or seborrheic dermatitis. Stress can provoke the onset of dandruff in some people or intensify an existing case. Some people have a hereditary tendency to develop skin problems that may be triggered by a sensitivity to specific foods. Some people have improved their dandruff condition after shunning foods that cause the face and scalp to flush, typical offenders are hot liquids, heavily spiced foods, and alcohol.
To control mild dandruff, doctors usually recommend one of the following ways
- Shampooing daily until the dandruff is under control, followed by twice weekly for maintenance.
- Use dandruff shampoos which usually contain zinc pyrithion, salicylic acid, tar, Tea Tree Oil, Ginger, or selenium sulfide, all of which work as exfoliants to hasten the shedding of the dead cell layer from the scalp.
- If the above methods do not work well, use shampoos that contain the anti-fungal medication ketoconazole.
Application of Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
While applying the anti-dandruff shampoo, part the hair into several small sections & apply the shampoo to one section at a time. Make sure to massage your scalp for a good five minutes to help loosen flakes. Rinse your hair thoroughly after shampooing.
Additional Hair Care Tips
- In case of stubborn dandruff, limit the use of hair-styling products like gels and mousses. These products can cause a filmy buildup on hair and may lead to oiliness.
- Dandruff can cause itching but resist the urge to pick or scratch your scalp. This can cause breaks in the skin and could lead to infection.
Eat plenty of Fruits and vegetables, Whole grains, Lean meat, fish, and poultry and low-fat dairy products.