Before going into the solutions to prevent dandruff, let us talk about the causes. Dandruff is a condition that mainly affects the scalp accompanied by flaky skin and dead tissues in the hair. In some cases, it is also causes itching or inflammation to the skin. The exact reason for dandruff is not known. However, various factors contribute to the risk of dandruff. If you think the dandruff is due to poor hygiene then you are in the wrong perception. However, poor hygiene makes your dandruff more visible if you donâ€™t brush or wash your hair frequently.
So the Causes of Dandruff
Though the exact cause(s) is unknown, one theory states that it is linked to hormone production as it begins during puberty. Let's see the some other possible factors:
1. Seborrheic Dermatitis:
People with this condition have more dandruff associated with irritated, oily skin and scalp.
Seborrheic dermatitis affects the back areas of the ears, breast bone, eyebrows, sides of the nose and in these, the skin becomes red, greasy, gets covered with white or yellow flaky scales.
Seborrheic dermatitis is similar to Malassezia, a fungus that normally is found on the scalp and feeds on the oils secreted by hair follicles. It generally does not cause any problems. In some people this condition becomes overactive thus making the scalp irritated - leading to production of extra skin cells. As these extra skin cells die, shed off, and get mixed with the oil from the hair and scalp, dandruff gets formed.
2. Shampoos and Skincare Products:
Certain skin care products can cause red, itchy, scaly scalp. Washing the hair extremely frequently with shampoos may also be reasons for dandruff formation and can irritate the scalp too. Some people would say lack of shampooing leads to the secretion of oils and the formation of dead skin cells leads to dandruff. However, it is not true. Alternatively, if you are looking for chemical-free and natural products for body and hair wash, an oatmeal wash http://bit.ly/2ui0NFl can be a great option.
3. Hair Brushing
Infrequent hair brushing (or combing) increases the risk of dandruff formation.
People who are sensitive to yeast are more prone to dandruff. Dandruff is the worst during winters and less active during warmer climates (this is believed to be due to the UVA light that interacts with yeast).
5. Dry Skin
People with dry skin are more prone to dandruff. Climates/weathers with lack of moisture and high susceptibility to dry skin are the leading reasons for itchy and flaking skin. Dandruff that sheds from dry skin tend to have smaller and non-oily (very dry) flakes.
6. Certain Skin Conditions:
People with skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis are more prone to have dandruff as compared to others. A fungal infection tinea capitis popularly known as scalp ringworm is another cause of dandruff.
7. Medical Conditions:
Adults with Parkinson's disease and some other neurological diseases are likely to get dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. People with weak immune systems and who are recovering from a heart attack or stroke tend to be more prone to dandruff.
The deficiency of vitamin B, zinc, and some types of fats may enhance the risk of dandruff.
This somehow linked to many skin problems.
Dandruff targets men more as compared to women during adolescence and middle ages. The reason may be related to hormones.
Complications are generally rare with dandruff but if anything bothers you too much, then you must seek for a doctorâ€™s help. Few of the rare possibilities of complications are:
a) Sign of infection such as inflammation
b) Dandruff becomes severe even after using home remedies
c) Indications of eczema, psoriasis, and other conditions that cause itching
d) Some shampoos or scalp treatments
Medications/products used in the above might need to be discontinued with the confirmation of your doctor.
What if Babies get Effected with Dandruff?
Cradle cap is a term which refers to scaly patches on a babyâ€™s scalp that may be yellow in color or greasy by texture. It frequently affects newborns within 2months and stays for a couple of weeks or few months.
Washing their scalp with shampoo and applying oil and moisturizing their body helps to get rid of the scales quickly. If any signs of skin cracking or infection, itching, swelling, and bleeding identified, take your baby to a doctor right away.
Effective Remedies to Get Rid of Dandruff:
1. Coconut Oil - Fixes Everything
Apply coconut/castor/olive oil http://bit.ly/36TRI3h to your hair and massage it gently on your scalp. At least apply twice or thrice in a weak for 8 weeks (or more). But do not go outside after applying the oil because it may absorb dirt and dust that increases your problem. Therefore, cover your head with a scarf if you go out with or else apply it during nights and wash your hair in the morning.
Trust me, this helps in getting rid of dandruff, dryness and also moisturizes your scalp. Because coconut oil contains undecylenic acid that prevents fungal infections such as itching and mild eczema, dandruff, etc on your skin.
2. Tea-Tree Oil Tips:
Use tea tree oil by mixing it with a carrier oil (any oil of your choice) - preferably coconut oil. Apply it on the scalp and massage it gently. Later wash when ever you wish. Tea tree oil possesses microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that helps in reducing the severity and symptoms of dandruff.
3. Aloe for Hair Care
Pluck a leaf from aloe vera plant and slice the leaf and take out the gel. Now make a fine paste or you can mix it with coconut oil as well. Then apply this to your scalp and let it sit on your head for an hour. Rinse your hair using a mild shampoo. Repeat the same procedure at least twice in a week.
Aloe vera contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. As a result, it may help to reduce inflammation and dandruff symptoms.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar: Take the required quantity of apple cider vinegar and dilute it with equal parts of water. Then shampoo and condition it. Now pour this apple cider vinegar mixture on your hair. Then wait for couple of minutes and then rinse it off - preferably with cold/lukewarm water. Hot water tends to damage hair follicles and hamper hair growth. Using this remedy will keep your scalp healthy by removing bacteria and dirt. Also, it aids in balancing the PH level.
6. Lemon: Add lemon to coconut oil or olive oil. Then apply this mixture directly on your scalp; massage it for some time and leave it for 15mins. Now take a shower with warm/lukewarm water. Lemon contains citric acids that balances the PH of your scalp and helps to get rid of flaky skin, itchy skin, and dandruff quickly. To see the results quickly, repeat at least twice in a week for a couple of months.
Dandruff, dust/pollution from the environment not only causes itching but also causes a foul smell. Start using the above remedies for assure effectiveness. If none of these natural home remedies work for you, then you always have an option of going for medicated shampoos or other products. However, do not experiment with these on your own. Consult a dermatologist or pharmacists for reliable guidance.
About the Author:
Uma bharathi holds a Bachelors's degree in the field of pharmacy. She has strong proficiency in the areas of pharmacology, hospital pharmacy, dispensing medicines and hospital pharmacy, Dietary supplements and Neutraceuticals. Her expertise in research has greatly assisted in writing medical content, healthcare blogs and articles. As a writer, she aims to provide research-based information to the readers in a more detailed way. She has been associated with MedPlus since 2016.