Posts Tagged ‘Treat Dandruff’

Dandruff Causes and Dandruff Prevention

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Pityriasis simplex capillitii or more commonly known as “dandruff“) is the shedding of dead skin cells from the head. The word dandruff (dandruff, dandriffe) is of Anglo-Saxon origin, a combination of ‘tan’ meaning ‘tetter’ and ‘drof’ meaning ‘dirty’.

insane-dandruff

15 to 20 percent of people are plagued by those little white flakes that show up so well on dark clothes. Not only does this condition cause social and self esteem issues but redness and irritation can drive the effected person insane.

As the epidermal layer continually replaces itself, cells are pushed outward where they eventually die and flake off. In most people, these flakes of skin are too small to be visible. Some people, however, either chronically or as a result of certain triggers, experience an unusually large amount of flaking. For people with dandruff, skin cells may mature and be shed in 2–7 days, as opposed to around a month in people without dandruff. The result is that dead skin cells are shed in large, oily clumps, which appear as white or grayish patches on the scalp, skin and clothes.

3-Causes-of-dandruff – Audio Interview

Fortunately most cases of dandruff can be easily treated with specialized shampoos or home treatments.

How to Prevent Dandruff

  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. As if you needed another reason to eat right, it turns out that a healthy diet may ward off the flakes. Make sure to get plenty of zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, E and B-vitamins, and avoid excessive yeast and sugar. Research suggests that dandruff is at least in part caused by a fungus that thrives in yeasty, fatty, sugary environments. Though this does not necessarily directly affect the conditions of your skin, your overall health will help with how your body responds to the fungus causing the dandruff.
  2. Don’t worry, be happy. Stress challenges the body’s defenses and encourages all sorts of ailments, including dandruff, so relax now and don’t worry about wearing a black shirt tomorrow.
  3. Limit your use of hair styling products. Hairspray, mousse, and gel may contribute to dandruff in some people. They may also cause excessive drying of the skin, which can cause flaking – or trigger allergic reactions. If you notice dandruff soon after you begin to use a new product, chances are the product is to blame. The exception to this would be using a therapeutic styling gel or spray formulated with tea tree oil.
  4. Wash your hair regularly. Dandruff seems to thrive in oily hair, so regular shampooing can help you fight it off. If you already have dandruff, washing your hair may help you keep the symptoms (the flakes) under control until it goes away. Massage your scalp so that you clean your skin, as well as your hair. This is one time when the “repeat” directions in “wash, rinse, and repeat” may be useful. The first washing breaks up the waxy sebum, and the second washing helps rinse it all away.
  5. Use a shampoo designed to treat dandruff. If dandruff persists despite regular shampooing, you may need something stronger. There are a variety of anti-dandruff shampoos available at your pharmacy or grocery store, and they usually work. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully, and make a little extra time to shower, as most of these recommend that you leave them in for 5-10 minutes and lather twice.
  6. Oil your hair with herbal oils or use special herbal gels. Gels from India have been known to help. Do this on a regular basis, at least twice a week for improvements.
  7. Be aware that there are different active ingredients in dandruff shampoos. If one does not work for you try another. Ketoconazole (brand name Nizoral®) is extremely effective against certain types of dandruff that are caused by a fungus. 1% Ketoconazole is available without prescription in the US, 2% requires a prescription. The 2% is available without a prescription in Canada.
  8. Be patient. While anti-dandruff shampoos may produce results after a few uses, it can take a week or two to see the difference.
  9. Switch it up. If one type of anti-dandruff shampoo doesn’t seem to work, or if it works for a time but then doesn’t, switch to a product with another active ingredient (the active ingredient will be labeled on the bottle).
  10. See your doctor if the problem persists after more than a couple weeks of treatment. There are prescription shampoos available, and prescription steroid creams may also help.
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