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Dandruf - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment, Dandruff Home Remedies


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DANDRUF is a very common problem indeed, that of flakes falling from the scalp every time a person combshis/her hair or rubs the head. Dandruf is caused by a commonyeast cell pityresporen ovale which causes an inflammation of the scalp, making it shed flakes. Dandruff is a very common sclap problem. A morbid condition of the sclap is the emergene of dandruf which is caused by the excessive secretion of the sebaceous glands. Dandruf is infectious and personal articles like comb, towel, etc. of the patient should not be used by others.

Dandruff is a bothersome problem sometimes thought to be associated with inefficient hair care. It is a mysterious ailment. It occurs when the scalp sheds dead epidermal (skin) cells in large clumps. Everyone loses skin cells in this way, but with dandruff the whole process is faster, so a greater number of cells are shed. It usually gets worse during the fall and winter and improves in the summer. While it is caused by build up of dead skin, in many more severe cases a yeast-like germ aggravates it. It is very common. Up to one-third of the U.S. population is affected by this condition. It is an itchy, annoying and persistent skin disorder of the scalp. Dandruff scales appear dry, white or grayish, appearing as small, unsightly patches, especially on top of the head. It is a form of skin inflammation (dermatitis) which has no known cause. This condition can appear at any time from infancy to old age, and can come and go more or less at random. It is a natural and harmless scalp condition in which the shedding of dead skin cells occurs at an unusually fast rate.

In a normal scalp, the process of sloughing off old cells and manufacturing of their replacements is very orderly and complete. Seborrheic dermatitis is different than dandruff. If you have dandruff, the process of skin renewal (or skin turnover) speeds up to twice the normal rate, so a greater number of dead cells are shed. Dandruff is usually due to the overworking of the sebaceous glands. These glands produce oil and help shed dead skin. Dandruff usually limits itself to the scalp and is characterized by scaling without redness, while seborrheic dermatitis has both redness and scaling. With dandruff, this whole process of skin renewal (or skin turnover) speeds up, so a greater number of dead cells are being shed. According to Proctor and Gamble, it affects more than 50% of the population of the USA so it is more common to have dandruff than not! It can occur at any age, but is most likely in the early 20s. Mild cases of dandruff may need nothing more than daily shampooing with a gentle cleanser. And stubborn flakes often respond to medicated shampoos. Most cases of dandruff can be treated with specialized shampoos or common household remedies.

Symptoms of Dandruff

Some sign and symptoms related to Dandruff are as follows:

  • Skin affected by seborrhoeic dermatitis is usually red and greasy with a white or yellowish flaky scale.
  • Cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp).
  • There is sometimes itching or soreness and the scalp can feel tight.
  • Scalp ringworm (tinea capitis): This highly contagious fungal infection occurs primarily in children younger than age 10.
  • Psoriasis. This skin disorder causes an accumulation of dead skin cells that form thick silvery scales.
  • A yellow or red scaly rash along the hairline, behind the ears, in the ear canal, on the eyebrows, around the nose, and/or on the chest
  • Your scalp can be either excessively dry or oily.

Treatment of Dandruff

Here is list of the methods for treating Dandruff:

  • Anti-dandruff shampoos containing the antimicrobials selenium sulphide (eg Selsun ) or zinc pyrithione are helpful for mild dandruff.
  • Shampoos with coal tar (some brand names: DHS Tar, Neutrogena T/Gel, Polytar) may be used 3 times a week.
  • Corticosteroid cream or lotion.
  • Mix 8 tbsp. peanut oil with the juice of half a lemon. Rub the mixture into your hair, leave on for 10 minutes and then wash as usual.
  • Antifungal shampoo containing ketoconazole (eg Nizoral dandruff shampoo ) provides a mild, yet effective treatment for dandruff.
  • If the shampoo alone doesn't help, your doctor might want you to use a prescription steroid lotion once or twice daily, in addition to the shampoo.
  • Tar shampoos such as Tarsum will help to control dandruff.

What causes dandruf ?

Dandruf is caused by micro-organism called pityrosporum-ovle which are present in every body's scalp. Symptoms of dandruf get aggravated when exposed to dust, UV light, harsh chemical based shampoo, hair dyes etc., this results in increase in number of microbes which causes unhealthy residue over the scalp which leads to dandruff, which is the cause of unhealthy, lifeless hair and may result in excessive loss of hair too. Followings are also responsible for dandruf:-

1. Heredity
2. Lack of proper Diet
3. Environment
4. Dry or Greasy Scalp is etc.
5. Stress, anxiety and tension.
6. Infrequent shampooing of the hair or inadequate rinsing.
7. Improper use of hair-coloring products or excessive use of electric hair curlers.

Can Dandruf Lead to Baldness?

Dandruf can lead to other problems, like acne or a rashy skin, and can even trigger off hair loss. In severe cases of dandruf, for which the medical term is seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea, some hair follicles could be damaged or destroyed. But there is no evidence in the medical journals that baldness is caused by ordinary dandruff. Dandruf and baldness often occur together though. Many people assume from this that one is caused by the other. It's a false assumption.

Home remedies for Dandruf Cure and Treatment:

1. Oil your hair with pure warm coconut oil and apply juice of half a lemon onto the scalp.

2. Massage the scalp with almond oil and steam bathe your hair. Steam bath is taken by dipping the towel in boiling water and wrapping it around the hair, like a turban. Do not let the corners of your towel be wet, so that you can hold them. When your towel gets cold, repeat it thrice or four times. Steaming opens the scalp pores and increases the capacity of the hair to absorb oil at its roots.

3. You can also take a spoonful lemon juice, mix it with two spoonfuls vinegar and massage on the scalp. Wash your hair with an egg shampoo.

4. Take on part almond oil, and pure sulphur in same quantity, mix and add 'surgical spirit' in the quantity equal to the above two. Put four parts distilled water or rose water and rub on the scalp. An Effective home remedy for dandruf.

5. Mix a spoonful of lemon juice with two spoonfuls of vinegar and massage on the scalp. Wash your hair with an egg shampoo after this. Your hair will be dandruf free.