Dandruff is shedding dead skin cells from the scalp in the form of white or gray flaky particles. It is very common, affecting almost half of all adults worldwide. Dandruff occurs when skin cells from the scalp are replaced more rapidly than average during the body’s natural exfoliation process. Additionally, a fungus known as Malassezia sometimes plays a role by breaking down the cellular bonds in the stratum corneum layer. It causes clumps of old skin cells to detach from the scalp in visible flakes. Typical signs of dandruff include itchy scalp, dry skin, and white or gray flakes in the hair and shoulders. It does not pose severe medical issues but can cause undesirable bits and discomfort. Managing oil glands, treating with antifungal shampoos, and maintaining scalp health are essential for dandruff control. Severe or persistent cases may require prescription shampoos or medicated creams from a dermatologist.
Causes Of Dandruff
The most common cause of dandruff is Malassezia, a type of yeast that lives naturally on the scalp. This yeast feeds on the oils produced by hair follicles. When scalp oil production increases due to factors like stress or hormones, the yeast population grows out of control. They release substances that irritate the scalp, causing flakes. Genetics may also play a role, as some are naturally more prone to an overactive oil gland response. Other triggers include dry scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis. Environmental aspects like weather, harsh shampoos, or hot showers that strip natural oils can exacerbate flare-ups. Dandruff may also develop if scalp skin is unhealthy or damaged from habits like tight hairstyles or straightening tools applied too near the scalp. While not serious, dandruff can create scalp itching and visible flakes. Understanding its causes helps target effective treatments and prevention.
How To Prevent Dandruff?
Several effective ways help prevent dandruff and keep the scalp healthy. Proper hygiene is essential, such as regularly washing the hair and scalp with an anti-dandruff shampoo to control oil glands and the fungus Malassezia. During washing, gentle massaging of the scalp helps remove dead skin cells and excess oils. It’s also beneficial to condition the hair after shampooing to avoid stripping the scalp of its natural oils. Exfoliating the scalp weekly with a soft brush can slough away flakes. Stress management is critical as stress can worsen scalp conditions. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water also keeps skin and scalp from getting too dry or oily. Avoiding harsh hair chemicals and tight hairstyles that could damage or irritate the scalp further prevents flare-ups. Protecting the head from extreme heat or cold helps balance skin and glands. Early treatment of dandruff and practicing these preventive strategies consistently helps curb symptoms over time.
Home Remedies For Dandruff
Dandruff is a common scalp problem characterized by flaky, white, or greyish scales that form on the hair and fall onto the shoulders. While mild cases may not require medical treatment, home remedies can help control dandruff naturally. Applying coagulated apple cider vinegar using a cotton ball and massaging the scalp is effective. The acetic acid in ACV works to restore scalp pH balance. Another remedy is using coconut or olive oil. Massaging a few drops of oil into the scalp overnight helps moisturize it. The fatty acids nourish the scalp and hair follicles. Tea tree essential oil is also potent against dandruff-causing malassezia fungi. Mix 2-3 drops in a oil and rub gently on the scalp. Leaving the mixture on for an hour before shampooing can clear flakes within a few weeks. Adopting natural home remedies regularly along with a healthy diet can manage dandruff without harsh medications.
Shampoo For Dandruff By Dermatologist
Dermatologists recommend using an anti-dandruff shampoo at least twice a week for 4-6 weeks to control flakes and itchiness effectively. Some of them are
Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff Defense Shampoo: It contains pyrithione zinc as the active ingredient to treat dandruff effectively. It is recommended for average to severe cases.
Re’equil Anti Dandruff Shampoo Contains ketoconazole 1%, a prescription-strength antifungal to control dandruff. Suitable for sensitive scalps.
L’Oreal Paris Extra Strength Dandruff Solutions Anti-Dandruff Shampoo has zinc pyrithione and salicylic acid to treat flakes and itchy scalp. Dermatologist approved.
Dabur Vatika Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Contains extracts of lemon, neem, and basil, which have antifungal properties. It helps soothe itchy scalp.
Sebamed Anti-Dandruff Shampoo: Formulated without sulfates, silicones, or parabens. Useful for those with dry scalp issues along with dandruff.
Bichol Scalp Care Anti-Dandruff Tea Tree Shampoo: Tea tree oil is antifungal and anti-inflammatory. Suitable for naturally controlling scalp flare-ups.
Biotique Bio Margosa Anti Dandruff Shampoo: Contains extracts of neem and other herbs. It is suited for those who prefer Ayurvedic products.
What solutions are suggested for dandruff from doctor
When seeking solutions for dandruff, it’s advisable to consult a doctor or dermatologist who can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific situation. However, here are some general solutions that doctors may suggest for dandruff:
Medicated Shampoos: Doctors often recommend using medicated shampoos containing active ingredients such as ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or pyrithione zinc. These ingredients help to control the underlying causes of dandruff, such as fungal overgrowth or excessive scalp oil production.
Anti-inflammatory Creams or Lotions: In cases where dandruff is accompanied by scalp inflammation or redness, doctors may prescribe topical creams or lotions containing corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory agents to reduce irritation and flaking.
Prescription-strength Treatments: If over-the-counter solutions don’t provide sufficient relief, doctors may prescribe stronger medicated shampoos, creams, or oral medications to address severe or persistent dandruff.
Lifestyle and Hair Care Practices: Doctors may also suggest certain lifestyle changes and hair care practices to help manage dandruff. These can include washing the hair regularly with a gentle shampoo, avoiding excessive use of styling products, reducing stress levels, and maintaining a balanced diet.
Avoiding Triggers: Identifying and avoiding potential triggers that worsen dandruff symptoms is another important aspect. For some individuals, certain hair care products, environmental factors, or dietary choices may exacerbate dandruff. Your doctor can help you identify and manage these triggers.
Remember, these suggestions are general, and the best course of action will depend on your specific condition. It’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Dandruff is a persistent scalp condition that requires an effective anti-dandruff shampoo to treat it properly. While home remedies may provide some relief, consulting a dermatologist and using a clinically proven medicated shampoo is the best way to get long-lasting results. The shampoos mentioned contain ingredients like zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, or salicylic acid that target the root cause of dandruff by eliminating the Malassezia fungi. Regular use, as recommended by dermatologists, along with other scalp care measures, can help control flare-ups and prevent recurring flakes. It’s also essential to choose the correct formulation based on individual scalp type and severity of dandruff. Following dermatologist advice on shampoo selection and usage can thus help one bid farewell to an itchy, flaky scalp.