Dandruff is a common scalp condition which is characterized by appearance of flakes of dead skin on the scalp or hair.
Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. As the old skin cells die, they are pushed to the surface and expelled hence, small amount of flaking is normal. In few people, the new cells are produced at a greater pace than they die hence, resulting in more skin being shed thus, making dandruff evident.
Dandruff is not a contagious condition and may range from mild to severe. Chronic dandruff can be very troublesome and embarrassing; it can cause discomfort and itching. Severity of dandruff fluctuates with the season, though it is worse in the winters.
It is estimated that dandruff is more common in males as compared to females. Dandruff can be easily controlled though, some cases can be difficult to treat and uncomfortable. Certain individuals suffering with severe dandruff may have self-esteem or social issues leading to psychological and physiological conditions. Hence, treatment becomes quite crucial in such cases.
1 :: Insufficient shampooing & hair brushing.
2 :: Seborrhoeic Dermatitis.
3 :: Certain skin conditions such as Eczema, Psoriasis, etc.
4 :: Sensitivity to certain components of hair care & styling products.
5 :: Emotional stress.
6 :: Excessive growth of a type of fungus – Malassezia.
7 :: Certain neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, severe head injuries, etc.
- White flakes on the scalp and hair.
- Itching on the scalp.
Dandruff is a condition which can be easily diagnosed. There are no investigations or tests required to diagnose it. Presence of the characteristic white flakes on the scalp confirms the diagnosis.
Dandruff can be controlled, but patience and persistence in required for its treatment.
Mild cases of dandruff can be controlled by daily shampooing with gentle cleanser while the stubborn cases often respond to medicated shampoos. Daily cleansing with a gentle shampoo decreases skin cell build-up and oiliness which helps in cases of mild dandruff.
Shampoo your hair regularly with a shampoo which contains either of the ingredients namely coal tar, ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, salicylic acids, tea-tree oil and selenium sulphide. These ingredients act effectively in controlling dandruff. Ensure that the shampoo stays on the scalp for some time before you rinse it, so that the ingredients have sufficient time to act.
Once, the symptoms improve then, you may use the shampoo only twice to thrice per week. It is recommended that the type of shampoo needed should be taken only after the consultation of a physician. There are certain shampoos which are not recommended during pregnancy and breast feeding.
In case, the dandruff continues even after regular shampooing then, consultation of a dermatologist may be required.
- Regular washing of hair.
- Consume a well-balanced diet; a diet which provides adequate zinc, vitamin B and essential fatty acids.
- Consume plenty of water.
- Avoid too much styling of hair with products such as hair sprays, hair gels, mousses and hair waxes.
- Learn to manage Stress as Stress is known to trigger dandruff.
- Spend few minutes outdoor in the Sun.