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What Is Dandruff

A dark shirt and dandruff just simply do not go together. There is nothing more embarrassing than to have someone brush white flakes off your black dress. Pityriasis capitis or seborrhea or what we call "dandruff," an itchy, annoying and persistent disorder of scalp, causes social or self-esteem problems. In today's stressful world, it is becoming an increasingly common ailment. Dandruff is no longer a medical problem, it has a negative social connotation too. Everybody's entire body surface continuously sheds dead skin cells. Infact all the cells of the skin are replaced every 24 days.

Dandruff (Pityriasis Capitis, Seborrhea or Scurf) is due to excessive shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. As it is normal for skin cells to die and flake off, a small amount of flaking is normal and in fact quite common. Some people, however, either chronically or as a result of certain triggers, experience an unusually large amount of flaking, which can also be accompanied by redness and itching. Dandruff can happen at any age. A form of dandruff knows as cradle cap occurs in newborns and infants. The number of people suffering from dandruff is rising steadily. About 75% of the people visiting beauty saloons, pharmacies and dermatologists suffer from it. But there is no reason why you should be embarrassed by a condition that is completely treatable with homeopathy.

Causes of Dandruff

At one time or the another, dandruff causes have been attributed to dry skin, oily skin, shampooing too often or not often enough, a poor diet, poor hygiene, lack of rest, excessive consumption of sugar, fat, starch, improper nutrition, cold weather, dry indoor heating, excessive use of hair sprays, gels, hair coloring products, hot hair curlers or curling irons, hereditary predisposition, allergic hypersensitiveness. Although some of these factors may exacerbate or contribute to scalp flaking, the real culprit may be a fat-eating, yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, formerly known as Pityrosporum ovale.

Malassezia lives on the scalp of most healthy adults without causing problems. But sometimes it grows out of control, feeding on the oils secreted by hair follicles and causing irritation that leads to increased cell turnover resulting in a large number of dead skin cells. As the cells fall off, they tend to clum together with oil from your hair and scalp, making them appear white, flaky and all too visible.

Symptoms of Dandruff

 If you notice small, loose, whitish flakes on your scalp or trapped in hair strand with an itchy feeling, you have a dandruff problem. Signs and symptoms of dandruff are unmistakable. But then it is not quite that simple, excessive flaking can also be a symptom of seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infection or excoration associated with infestation of head lice.The type of flakes, whether they are oily or dry, hints at the cause of the problem.

Risk Factors Of Dandruff

Almost Any Adult Is A Candidate For Dandruff, But Certain Factors Can Make You More Susceptible.

  • Age: Dandruff Usually Begins In Young Adulthood And Continues Through Middle Age. That Does Not Mean Older Adults Do Not Get Dandruff; However For Some People, The Problem Can Be Lifelong.
  • Sex: Because More Men Than Women Have Dandruff, Some Researchers Think Male Hormones May Play A Role In Dandruff. Men Also Have Larger Sebaceous Glands That Produce Oil Called Sebum.
  • Oily Hair And Scalp: Malassezia Feeds On Oils In Your Scalp Which Can Lead To Dandruff.
  • Certain Illnesses: Adults With Neurological Diseases, Such As Parkinson's disease And Patients with Compromised Immune Systems Are More Prone to Dandruff.

How Serious Is Your Dandruff?

Your dandruff could be an irritant; you will feel the odd itchiness and be embarrassed by the white flakes. The problem becomes acute when the scalp reacts to the scales by secreting a fluid. This results in the scales sticking to the scalp, giving them a yellowish waxy appearacne. The dandruff may then spread to chest and back.

Diet And Nutrition In Dandruff

  • One Should Include Plenty Of Vitamin B In The Diet.
  • Nutritional Yeast And Raw Wheat Germ Are Two Excellent Sources Of Vitamin B, Especially Vitamin B6 Which Plays An Important Role In Controlling The Dandruff.
  • Eggs, Cabbage Also Provide Vitamin B6 In Addition To Supplying Sulphur Which Is Nature's Beauty Mineral For The Scalp.
  • Watch Your Diet. Dairy Products, Fatty Foods, Seafood, And Excessive Sugar Have All Been Shown To Make Dandruff Worse.

Home Remedies for Dandruff

Use An Anti-Dandruff Shampoo 2 To 3 Times Per Week.

  • For Mild Cases Of Dandruff, Alternate The Anti-Dandruff Shampoo With Your Regular Shampoo.
  • A Key Point To Remember Is To Select The Mildest Shampoo Possible. Detergent Based Shampoos Would Clean The Hair And Scalp Well But Often Cause Drying And Will Make The Flaking Worse. Harsh Shampoos Would Just Cause The Sebaceous Glands To Overcompensate By Producing More Oil Than Necessary. Be Sure To Rinse Thoroughly; Shampoo And Soap Residue Can Actually Aggravate Skin Problems. Let Your Hair Dry Naturally Instead Of Blowing It Dry.
  • Briskly Massaging Your Scalp With Coconut Oil Or Tea Tree Oil Will Improve Circulation Of The Scalp.
  • Improve Blood Circulation By Alternating Hot And Cold Water On The Scalp.
  • Brushing Your Hair With A Natural-Bristle Brush Also Proves Beneficial. Brush Your Hair from Your Scalp Outward With Steady, Firm Strokes. This Will Carry Oil From Your Scalp, Where It Can Cause Dandruff, Along The Hair Strands, Which Need The Oil To Stay Shiny And Healthy.
  • Yoga Headstand Also Helps With Scalp Blood Circulation.
  • Exercising Out In Fresh Air Will Also Help With Blood Circulation Of The Scalp