Dandruff is a very common skin condition caused by dead skin cells or flakes that are detached from the scalp. A small amount of flaking after detergent treatment is normal while some other individuals experience large amount of flaking caused by different factors.
Dandruff is the result of dry skin, skin oil or sebum, metabolic byproducts of skin, microorganisms and individual susceptibility.
Considered as a scalp disorder, dandruff causes itching and affects mostly those in post puberty age regardless of gender and race. The condition usually worsens in winter and may be minimal during other seasons.
The trigger factors include:
- Increased oil production
- Oily skin and scalp
- Sweating in the hair and scalp
- Poor hygienic practice
- Weather (hot and humid or cold and dry)
- Washing or shampooing infrequently
- Concurrent yeast or fungal skin infections or overgrowth
- Poor immune system
- Chronic illness
- Emotional or mental stress
Signs and symptoms
This condition is not limited to affect the scalp but also the eyebrows, ears, beard and the sides of the nose. You may experience itching, a burning sensation in the affected area and the urge to scratch the area where dry scalp flaking exists or in area where patchy scales can be seen. There may also be inflammation of the scalp. It can also cause an oily scalp which may eventually lead to loss of hair.
Here are the common symptoms:
- White flakes seen on shoulders of dark clothing
- Itchiness in the scalp
- Drying of facial skin
- Ear “eczema” that recurs
- Rashes on the eyebrows, nose, and ears
- Oily scalp and facial skin with dry flakes
- Dandruff on the eyebrow
- Beard dandruff
- Rashes on the chest with dry flakes and red spots
A special shampoo particularly an egg-based shampoo can be used to treat dandruff. There is no sure cure for this skin disorder but it can be controlled through proper skin and hair hygiene.
Here are simple remedies you can try to relieve your itchy scalp:
- crushed aspirin added to your shampoo
- baking soda applied after wetting hair
- two tablespoons of lemon juice massaged into your scalp
- alcohol based mouthwash for rinsing hair after washing hair with regular shampoo
- salt to scrub out before you apply shampoo
- three tablespoons of vinegar applied into your scalp before applying shampoo prior to total rinsing. Rinsing can be done after a few minutes.
- four or five drops of tea oil added to your shampoo to wash the hair scalp
- flaxseed oil and oil rich in vitamin E can be used to wash the affected scalp.
Your nutrition can also help in preventing dandruff.
Eating food rich in vitamin B such as whole grains, egg yolk, nuts and cauliflower helps reduce dryness of scalp.
Avoiding foods with high oil content as well as beverages such as alcoholic drinks and carbonated drinks can prevent this hair problem.