Dandruff is a condition in which the scalp becomes dry and flakes of skin appear, along with severe itching. A common problem that’s seen in people of all ages, dandruff has no definitive cure, and can be managed with topical shampoos, a good diet and home remedies.
Reasons for dandruff
- Dry skin
- Protein deficiency induced dry scalp
- Irritated, oily scalp due to excess production of sebum or oil
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Not shampooing often enough leads to accumulation of sebum and dirt on the scalp
- Less combing / brushing, as the dead skin flakes are retained on the scalp
- Other skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis
- A yeast-like fungus called Malassezia
- Reaction/ allergy to certain hair care products (contact a dermatologist)
- Low immunity
- Unhealthy diet, especially due to lack of Vitamin B and Zinc
One of the major reasons of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disorder that affects the scalp, face, and torso. Called cradle cap in infants (which usually goes off by the age of 3), the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include red, oily skin, white/ yellow scales and itching.
Dandruff can be managed with regular use of shampoos containing
- Selenium Sulphide
- Zinc Pyrithione
- Salicylic Acid
- Coal Tar
Dandruff can also be managed to an extent using home remedies like
- Shampoos containing tea-tree oil - A natural antiseptic, antifungal and antibiotic, tea-tree oil, which is obtained from the leaves of Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), is a great remedy for dandruff. However, tea-tree oil should be used with care as it may cause allergy in some people.
- Massaging the scalp with nutrient rich oils like olive oil and coconut oil to get rid of dryness and itching
- Apple cider vinegar helps restore the pH balance of the scalp, and control the growth of yeast. It also helps clean clogged pores and hair follicles.
- Aloe vera possesses anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help reduce dandruff
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Drink lots of water
- Avoid excess sugar and yeast rich food products
- Take selenium, vitamin B, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements, only after seeking advice from your doctor
If dandruff persists, make sure you consult a Dermatologist without delay