Dandruff is a common condition of itching and flaking of the scalp. It is not a serious ailment and is not contagious. Dandruff at times is difficult to treat and requires patience. Treatment for mild dandruff includes daily shampooing. Stubborn Dandruff requires medicated shampoos.
The common factors that cause dandruff include:
- Dry Skin
- Oily Skin
- Dirty Scalp
- Malassezia Fungus
- Sensitivity to hair care products
One can easily spot Dandruff with the naked eye. These are white, oily flakes of dead skin present on the scalp which at times cause itching. Usually, the problem of Dandruff worsens during winters and improves on its own during summers.
A Dermatologist is the subject matter expert.
In most cases one can treat Dandruff at home. However, if the condition does not improve after a few weeks of self-treatment, using anti-dandruff shampoos and home remedies, take medical help.
Treatment Modalities Available
There are a number of dandruff treatment shampoos available in the market. Each has some different ingredient. The common effective ones include:
- Coal Tar (Brands available: Denorex Therapeutic Protection, Scytera, Neutrogena T/Gel)
- Pyrithione Zinc (Brands available: Selsun Blue for Itchy Dry Scalp, Selsun Salon, Neutrogena T/Gel, Head & Shoulders)
- Salicylic Acid and Sulfur (Brands available: Sebex, Sebulex)
- Salicylic Acid (Brands available: Neutrogena T/Sal, Ionil T)
- Selenium Sulfide (Brands available: Dandrex, Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue)
- Ketoconazole (Brands available: Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel)
For severe dandruff, use these shampoos daily or every alternate day. Once the condition is in control, gradually decrease the usage. At times regular usage may lower the effectiveness of the shampoo. In such cases, switch to some other shampoo with a different ingredient.
The correct method of shampooing is a four-step process:
- Wet the hair properly
- Massage the shampoo properly on the scalp
- Leave it for five minutes
- Rinse off and dry
Alternative Therapy: Tea tree oil from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree has antibiotic, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. Regular application of shampoos containing tea tree oil helps reduce Dandruff.
The other natural ingredients that help fight Dandruff include:
- Margosa (Neem) – Mix margosa oil with camphor and apply it on the scalp. Rinse off with a good shampoo.
- Yogurt – Wash hair and rinse. Apply yogurt. Wash after 15 minutes.
- Aspirin – Crush Aspirin tablets and mix in the shampoo. Keep the shampoo for about 2 minutes and then rinse.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Wash hair with one part of apple cider vinegar mixed with one part of water.
- Fenugreek Seeds – Crush one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds and soak it overnight in water. Washing hair with this mixture helps curing Dandruff.
- Baking Soda – Use baking soda as an alternate to shampoo.
- Lime Juice – A massage with a mixture of limejuice and olive oil in equal proportions helps control Dandruff.
Turban Therapy: Turban therapy or hot oil therapy is a good way to keep dandruff away. Massage warm oil on the scalp. Dip a towel in hot water and squeeze the water out. Wrap the towel in the form of a turban on the head. Keep it for a couple of minutes. Repeat the towel wrap process 3 to 4 times. The vapor helps to absorb the oil by opening the pores of the scalp. Leave the oil overnight. Apply limejuice on the scalp the next morning. Wash off after half an hour with a mild shampoo.
Precautions during Treatment
Apart from regular shampooing, the following measures may help reduce Dandruff:
- Managing Stress
- Keeping the scalp clean
- Avoiding use of styling products, such as, sprays, gels mousses, and more
- Intake of a healthy diet
- Exposure to the Sun for a limited period
Dietary and Physical Activity Requirements during the Course of the Treatment
Diet: Maintaining a healthy diet is important to control dandruff. Avoid junk food, fatty food, sugar, and yeast. Intake of fresh fruits & vegetables, foods with Zinc, Vitamin B & E, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and more helps fight Dandruff. Drink lots of water to cleanse your body and keep Dandruff away.
Physical Activity: Keeping oneself fit helps fighting stress, which in turn helps reducing Dandruff.
Prevention to Avoid Recurrence
Dandruff may recur. To avoid it, one must keep the scalp clean, eat healthy food, manage stress, and avoid using styling hair products.
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