Dandruff Causes & management.

Dandruff can be difficult to manage. Anyone who has experienced an itchy, flaky scalp (one of the key symptoms of the condition) will agree, it’s never fun.  It not only affects the scalp, but also the ears, eyebrows, sides of the nose, beard, and less commonly, the central (often hair-bearing) part of the chest.
Dandruff is also known as seborrheic dermatitis and seborrhea. A flaky or itchy scalp can be a sign of dandruff. Microbe which occurs naturally on everyone’s scalp, natural oils or a sensitive scalp are the three main reason that can cause dandruff.  hydration is your first line of defense against a flaky scalp. By keeping your scalp hydrated, you cut down on the amount of flaky skin cells, which will overall decrease the appearance of dandruff.
Some people have a genetic predisposition, or lifestyle issues that stimulatedandruff, like poor eating habits and stress. Even though dandruff isn’t curable, it is manageable with proper skin and hair hygiene.

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is the little white or grey flakes of skin that can appear on your scalp or in your hair. Dandruff not only occur because of dry scalp but it can also be a result of inflammation. It results from a buildup or overproduction of yeast on the scalp.  Dandruff can also be caused due to psoriasis, a genetic disorder made worse by modifiable lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol, stress, obesity or trauma. It can affect people of any age, from babies (in the form of cradle cap) to the elderly. To determine the cause of your dandruff, dryness or flaking and the best way to address it, make sure to consult with a board-certified dermatologist. 

What causes dandruff?

Dry scalp

Scalp is skin and just like how skin flakes when it is dry, when scalp is dry, it is prone to dandruff. Flakes from dry skin are typically smaller and less oily than those from other causes, and redness or inflammation is unlikely. It is important to keep your skin moisturised to prevent breaking and dry skin. By using the right moisturising shampoos and conditioners, you can help the skin on your scalp to retain it’s natural moisture  and prevent dandruff .

Lack of Shampooing

Skin cells from the scalp build up over time if you don’t wash your hair often enough, which causes dandruff. Using the right shampoo for your hair and skin type is important to prevent dandruff build-up. Those with dry skin and hair will need a moisturising shampoo and conditioner that will help in restoring hair protein and moisture to your skin to help prevent dead skin cells (dandruff). On the other hand, those with oily skin and hair will need less harsh and strong hair products, to prevent excessive moisture and oils.

Malassezia Yeast 

Those who are more prone to yeast have a higher chance of developing symptoms, which is typically worse during the winter months.  Malassezia yeasts can be found on the skin of those with dandruff. When there is too much yeast on the scalp, an infection can take place, especially if there are cuts or bruises on the scalp. Malassezia can’t be removed completely, but restoring your scalp’s protective barrier and boosting its natural defence power is big step towards combating the fungus. Concern you dermatologist or doctor to treat it properly.

Seborrheic dermatitis

People with seborrheic dermatitis have oily skin and are more likely prone to the symptoms. In seborrheic dermatitis, the skin becomes red and inflamed and is accompanied by yellow, oily flakes that stick to the hair and scalp and are sometimes hard to remove. It can affect the scalp and other areas rich in oil glands, including the eyebrows, sides of the nose, backs of the ears, breastbone, groin area and sometimes the armpits. while there are ways to treat it at home, but concerning a dermatologist for a prescription-strength regimen can be best choice.

How To Treat Dandruff

Choose Products Wisely

If you are already suffering with an itchy scalp use shampoos that are specifically made to treat dandruff,  seek products that include one of these ingredients: zinc, pyrithione, salicylic acid, selenium sulphide, ketoconazole or coal tar. As selenium sulfide can decrease irritation and itching and pyrithione zinc has antimicrobial properties that soothe irritation . Cleaning the head daily with a gentle shampoo for reducing oil and buildup or growth of excessive skin cells may be helpful. For best results, shampoo daily, leaving the lather on for at least ten minutes before rinsing.

Use Apple-Cider Vinegar Sparingly

Vinegar has a certain level of acid content that decreases itching and flaking and calms down the reaction to Malassezia yeast . Apple-cider vinegar has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties to lower levels of yeast on the skin and calm inflammation. Mix apple cider vinegar with equal an amount of water and after having a hair wash, apply the mixture on the wet hair. Massage your scalp and let it remain for 15 minutes before washing it off.

Start Washing Your Hair More Often

Seborrheic dermatitis is more a result of flaking, red skin and itching , stopping the flaking associated with dandruff isn’t as simple as moisturizing the area and cutting back on showers. Which is partially contributing to the whiteout situation on your scalp. Washing your hair at least once per day is helpful in controlling the yeast/oil production, Because yeast can contribute to the inflammation. There’s this concept now that you need to let natural oils sit longer on your scalp, but that can add to the problem. Oils and dead skin cells further accumulate as a result of infrequent hair washing.

 See a Dermatologist

If you think you have dandruff and have been using an anti-dandruff shampoo for more than one month with no visible improvement or it’s worsening (spreading, causing hair loss, increasing redness, painful, or infected) despite proper skin care and hair hygiene,  its always advisable to consider a dermatologist. A dermatologist may prescribe you an anti-inflammatory solution or an oral antifungal for flares.

Beside these treatment method. A little modification in one’s diet can also be beneficial .

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