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In this article, we will talk about everything you need to know about dandruff. Before looking into how to get rid of dandruff, let’s look at what dandruff is.
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is a common skin condition affecting the scalp. It is associated with flaking and itchiness. Typically, the skin layers continually replace themselves. As a result, the dying cells flake off.
In most of us, these flakes are too small to be visible. When there are specific changes in the body, there is an increased turnover of cells. As a result, more flakes are formed and becomes visible. Finally, dead skin cells shed in large, oily clumps, which appear as white or grayish flakes on the scalp. Finally, these clumps can fall on the shoulder or clothes.
While it isn’t a life-threatening or a contagious condition, it can cause much damage to social or self-esteem. In addition, it can be challenging to treat.
A more severe form of dandruff is seborrhoeic dermatitis. It involves skin inflammation. Other than the scalp, itchiness and flaking can occur in eyebrows, beard, or a mustache.
These signs and symptoms increase when in stress or during the dry and cold seasons.
What causes dandruff?
The first step in knowing how to get rid of dandruff is knowing what may cause it. There are several risk factors included in causing dandruff. Some of those risk factors are:
- Age: Dandruff is predominant in young adults and middle-aged people.
- Gender: More men are seen to have dandruff in comparison to women. Therefore, male hormones might play a role in causing dandruff.
- Illnesses: Diseases that affect the nervous system are seen to increase the risk of dandruff. Also, dandruff is seen comparatively more in people who are immune-compromised than those who are not.
While the risk factors are as they may be, there are several causes of dandruff. Some of which include:
- Not enough shampooing or overdoing it
- Irritated and greasy skin
- Sensitive skin or scalp (contact dermatitis)
- Fungal infection of the scalp (Malassezia)
- Dry skin and lastly,
- Skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema
These aren’t the absolute causes of dandruff. There are believed to be several genetic and environmental causes involved. Moreover, it is important to know that poor hygiene does not cause dandruff.
Types Of Dandruff
1. Dry Skin Dandruff
Obviously, people with dry skin are not surprised by dandruff. The dry skin could be a result of several factors, including dry weather such as winter or inadequate shampooing of the hair.
Most people with dry skin dandruff feel tightness on their scalp and flakes are seen in the hair.
Dry skin results in a flaky scalp. When in eyebrows, results in eyebrow dandruff.
2. Oily Scalp Dandruff
The sebaceous glands in the body produce a natural oil called sebum, which moisturizes the hair and skin.
When excess sebum is present, it mixes with dirt and dead skin cells forming dandruff.
Also, excess sebum can be a result of puberty, pregnancy, stress, or irregular shampooing.
3. Dandruff due to fungal infection
Fungal infection caused by Malassezia globosa spreads quite rapidly, especially when the scalp is excessively oily. This is highly contagious and can spread through sharing combs, towels, or hats.
When Malassezia does infect, it produces oleic acid. Oleic aid increases cell turnover on the scalp and causes dandruff.
4. Dandruff due to product build-up
When hairstyling requires a lot of products such as mousses, hair sprays, or leave-in conditioners/shampoos, it builds upon the scalp. This build-up then combines with the dirt and dead skin cells forming dandruff. It can also damage the hair causing hair loss.
5. Seborrheic Dermatitis
Excess sebum on the skin results in a condition called seborrheic dermatitis. It can be on the scalp, neck, face, or eyebrows.
It results in the flaky scalp and eyebrow dandruff.
In addition, stress and hormonal changes can trigger seborrheic dermatitis.
It is another chronic skin condition in which the immune system starts attacking the healthy skin cells. When that happens, new skin cell production is more than the removal of old ones. In the end, it results in the formation of thick silver-colored scaly patches on your scalp, neck, knees, and back.
It doesn’t give a flaky scalp but sure does result in a scaly one.
Dry scalp Vs. Dandruff
A dry scalp and dandruff are hard to differentiate. Dry scalp occurs when the skin is irritated and dried while dandruff is due to increased cell turnover.
It is being able to differentiate the two that helps in the management of the flaking.
When you have a dry scalp, the scalp is itchy, and the flakes are dry, as well as small. The most notable symptom is dry skin elsewhere on the body.
While on the other hand, when you have dandruff, there is no dry skin. The flakes are large and oily. Flakes can either be yellow or white. The scalp is itchy and greasy, and red skin is present.
Answer to how to get rid of dandruff?
Home remedies and medical treatments
1. Apple cider vinegar to treat dandruff
First in the list of how to get rid of dandruff is the infamous apple cider vinegar.
The acidity of apple cider vinegar stimulates the shedding of dead skin cells and balances skin pH. Thus, apple cider vinegar reduces the risk of fungal growth. Thus, helping fight dandruff.
Add a few drops or tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the shampoo or in combination with essential oil. If not, you can dilute apple cider vinegar in water and spray directly onto the hair.
2. Oils to get rid of dandruff
Tea tree oil has functioned in the treatment of acne and psoriasis for ages.
It has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate dandruff.
Since tea oil can irritate the skin, it is best when diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil before application.
Other oils such as coconut oil can also be remedies for dandruff. Coconut oil helps improve skin hydration and prevent dryness. The coconut oil also has some potential antimicrobial properties.
3. Aloe Vera for getting rid of dandruff
This succulent plant is a frequent addition to lotion, ointments, and other cosmetics. It is known to be beneficial in burns, psoriasis, cold sores, and dandruff. Aloe vera may also be protective against some fungal infections.
It is great to get rid of dandruff on dry weather.
4. Stress management to get rid of dandruff
Stress impacts both physical and mental health. Stress in itself does not cause dandruff, but it can aggravate symptoms like dryness and itching.
Chronic stress can weaken the immune system.
5. Aspirin to get rid of dandruff
The salicylic acid found in aspirin anti-inflammatory. Salicylic acid is an ingredient of many anti-dandruff shampoos. It works by getting rid of scaly skin and flakes.
As a natural remedy, crush two aspirin tablets and add it to your shampoo for a hair wash.
6. Omega-3 intake
Not only is the omega-3 fatty acid crucial role in the body, but it is also critical to the functioning of the heart, immune systems, and lungs. It is also helpful to the skin and helps prevent excess oil production while keeping it hydrated.
Omega 3 also promotes wound healing and prevents premature aging.
Probiotics are a type of bacteria that are good for your health. they protect against allergies, lowers cholesterol levels, and increases weight loss. It also enhances immune function which in return helps to get rid of dandruff.
8. Baking Soda
Besides being quick, convenient, and readily, baking soda acts as an exfoliant. It removes dead skin cells and reduces itchiness and scaling.
First, start with the direct application of baking soda to wet hair. Following this, massage it onto the scalp, is the usual method. Sit it sit for a couple of minutes and then continue shampooing as usual.
Best shampoo to get rid of dandruff
Following is a list of 5 shampoos for dandruff. These are readily available in any local drug store without a prescription. But better to consult your doctor first if you have any allergies or skin problems.
- Ketoconazole shampoo
- Salicylic acid containing shampoo such as Dermasolve
- Selenium sulfide containing shampoo such as Selsun Blue
- Sulfur-containing shampoo
- Tar containing shampoo such as Neutrogena T-Gel
Which doctor to see for dandruff?
A dermatologist is a medical practitioner specialized in conditions of the skin and will help you with how to get rid of dandruff.
Share this with your friends who are fighting dandruff
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