Mar 2, 2013

How to Get Rid of Dandruff

Dandruff scales are visible flakes of skin that are continuously shed from the scalp. People with dandruff have large numbers of a superficial yeast belonging to the species Malassezia on the scalp, which increases the turnover of the skin flakes.

Do’s of Dandruff Care

It is important to realize that dandruff is a normal physiological process. It is perceived as a disease when the scaling is noticeable and the scalp turns itchy.
  1. If the dandruff is mild, shampoo hair twice a week with shampoos labeled “frequent use, for dry hair and scalp”. The moisturizers will protect the scalp and keep it from flaking.
  2. Use shampoo powders with camellia seeds for mild cases
  3. Moderate dandruff sufferers use a normal antidandruff shampoo daily or alternate days, leaving the lather on for at least 10 minutes. Be sure to rinse thoroughly; shampoo and soap residue can actually aggravate skin problems. Once the dandruff is under control, shift to weekly twice shampooing.
  4. For more severe dandruff, you should use shampoos containing anti-yeast medications like selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, climbazole etc. These should be used on alternate days in the first week, twice a week for next 2-4 weeks, thereafter once weekly.
  5. After bath towel off the excess water and let the hair dry naturally, that is without blow drying.
  6. Brush the scalp hair with a soft natural bristle brush. Firmly brush the hair from scalp outwards. This will distribute the oil along the hair shaft keeping it shiny and healthy; rather than remaining on the scalp where it is a good medium for the yeast to multiply.
  7. Hair should be washed daily, with shampoo used on alternate days to begin with and weekly once or twice as maintenance.
  8. Eat well balanced food, avoid snacks, get 7-8 hours good sleep and exercise regularly.
  9. Learn to relax on a regular basis.
  10. If the condition persists or worsens after treatment, stop all medications and see a dermatologist.
Don’ts of Dandruff Care

There a number of precautions which will help you get rid of dandruff fast and also avoid frequent recurrences.
  • Do not use ordinary soap to wash hair. Ordinary soap is not designed to cleanse the scalp and hair.
  • Do not wash hair intensively, this can irritate the scalp and increase the cell turn over and flakes.
  • Do not use antidandruff shampoos in mild, dry type of dandruff. This will actually compound the problem.
  • Avoid dyes on the scalp hair as far as possible. The normal resident bacteria of the scalp which keeps away the yeasts will be destroyed by dyes and harsh shampoos.
  • Do not use antidandruff shampoos daily after the dandruff clears, as these are too harsh. Use no more than once or twice a week.
  • Moderate and severe types of dandruff are oily type; avoid oily and greasy applications in such cases.
  • Do not consume alcohol, fried, spicy, fast food.
When to See a Dermatologist?

Sometimes, the itchy, scaly scalp could turn out to be an obstinate problem not responding to conventional treatment. In such cases a review as to the real cause of the dandruff is mandatory and a dermatologist will be able to help you here.

You should consider a dermatology consultation:
  • If the OTC antidandruff treatment and home remedies have not helped even after 6 weeks.
  • If the flaking and scaling are not over the whole scalp but just in one or more places, and thick. You may be suffering from psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.
  • If you have scabs on the scalp.
  • If your scalp is red and itchy - or if the skin is flaky around the eyebrows, round the nose, behind the ears, front of chest or in between the shoulder blades;- this may suggest you have the more severe Seborrheic Dermatitis.
Dandruff, Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis: Are They Related?

Dandruff may be considered as the mildest end of a disease spectrum where psoriasis is at the other, more severe, end; with seborrheic dermatitis coming in between. The immunological and histo-chemical changes seen in psoriasis has not yet been demonstrated in the milder forms and yeast infection is not considered an important trigger factor in psoriasis, though.

Response to many topical agents like tar is similar in this group of skin diseases causing itching and scaling on the scalp. There is another severe condition which comes in between seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis of the scalp which has aptly been called seborrheasis.

To sum up, dandruff can be controlled, not cured; and, if it is resistant to standard antidandruff shampoos and treatment, you should seek expert help.


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