Dandruff is one of the most common and prevalent conditions among all people worldwide. Studies have found that about 50% of people in North America and Western Europe suffer from dandruff. Contrary to popular belief, dandruff is not as a result of poor hygiene. Dandruff can best be described as a scalp condition where flakes of skin appear and it is mostly accompanied by itching. To most people, it can tend to be embarrassing and difficult to treat. Dandruff has however been known to reduce with age. Moreover, it has been found to be more common in men than women and also in people with oily skin.
Causes of Dandruff
- Irritated oily skin (scientifically known as Seborrheic dermatitis.) When the skin is irritated it produces more skin cells. Once these cells die and fall off, they mix with the oil on the skin forming dandruff.
- Yeast-sensitive people are more likely to suffer from dandruff.
- Not brushing hair enough. Combing and brushing regularly aids in the shedding of skin therefore failure to comb makes it easier to get dandruff.
- Dry skin. Dry skin is accompanied by flaking skin thus dandruff.
- Specific skin conditions. Conditions like eczema, psoriasis and other disorders make you more prone to dandruff.
- Not enough shampooing. Failure to shampoo adequately can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells and oil thus causing dandruff.
- Certain illness. Adults with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease are more likely to have dandruff. Also patients recovering from heart attacks and strokes.
- Dandruff is also common in people with certain diets according to studies. Meals that are too sugary, salty or spicy or coupled with excess alcohol may worsen dandruff.
- Reaction to some skin care and hair products.
- Mental stress. Stress has been found to have a strong link with multiple skin problems.
Treatment of Dandruff
When treating dandruff, you ought to consider age and also severity of the dandruff. The best approach is usually to counteract yeast production or slow down the reproduction of skin cells.
This is the most common method of treatment. Use of anti-dandruff or anti-fungal shampoos is great for controlling but not curing dandruff. The shampoo once applied on the scalp, should be left for about 5 minutes. This is to give it enough time to act. Ideally a shampoo should contain one active ingredient. Some of the active ingredients contained in these shampoos include:
- Zinc pyrithione
- Selenium sulfide
- Coal tar
- Tea-tree oil
- Salicylic acids
- Green Tea potential
Once you select a shampoo with one of the above ingredients, you should shampoo daily until the condition is improved. If there is no improvement in several weeks, you can visit a dermatologist for further instruction.