Dandruff is a common scalp disorder with excessive shedding of dead skin cells accompanied with redness and inflammation. Many conditions can cause this including dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and contact dermatitis. It is usually noticed in people having dry skin, irritated oily skin, inflammatory skin condition, bacterial or fungal growth. It causes itchiness and excessive development of dry skin flakes on the scalp.
Dandruff is not only an issue for those who ignore washing their hair regularly, but it can also develop for those who over do hair wash. Even the typical male habits of applying too much oil on daily basis and female habits of over usage of grooming hair products can worsen the situation. In contact dermatitis sensitivities to certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes, especially paraphenylenediamine, can cause a red, itchy, scaly scalp and professional help of a dermatologist is needed.
Dr. (Capt.) Deepti Dhillon , Celebrity Dermatologist and the Medical Director of Appleskin Clinics in Delhi, recommends using shampoos that are SLS free to keep your scalp from drying out . In case your dandruff is due to fungal infection, it can lead to problems like scaly skin on forehead, eyebrows, sides and corners of nose, mid-brow and even the chin. This kind of dandruff, then takes the term ‘Facial Dandruff”.
Dr Deepti suggests the following treatment options for people suffering from dandruff:
1) Treatment shampoos:
- Zinc pyrithione shampoo : is antibacterial and antifungal .
- Tar-based shampoos : helps conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis by slowing how quickly skin cells on your scalp die and flake off.
- Shampoos containing salicylic acid :These “scalp scrubbers” help eliminate scales.
- Ketoconazole shampoos :Ketoconazole is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent that may work when other shampoos fail.
- Selenium sulfide shampoos :These shampoos slow your skin cells from dying and may also reduce malassezia (fungus) Because they can discolor blond, gray or chemically colored hair, be sure to use them only as directed, and rinse well after shampooing.
2) Anti-Dandruff Treatments at Dermatologist Clinic:
- laser therapy can be given as an in clinic procedure if dandruff is resistant.
- For excessive hair fall due to dandruff , one can opt for mesotherapy sessions once a week to control the balding patches and hair fall.
- Prescription medicines may be given if the condition is severe.
3) Lifestyle / Dietary Changes:
Dr Deepti emphasizes eating a balanced diet helps in avoiding the occurrence of dandruff. Step Up Your Zinc Intake to control sebum production. Having food rich in B-complex would also help. Avoiding excess of salt, sugar and alcohol also helps.
Chickpeas: they contain two of the key nutrients needed for fighting dandruff: vitamin B6 and zinc.
Sunflower Seeds: are a great source of zinc which helps control sebum production. They are also an excellent source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine),
Papaya: a unique enzyme known to aid in the digestion of proteins. This is great news to people whose dandruff is linked to poor digestion.
Ginger: particularly beneficial to people whose dandruff is caused by improper digestion. In addition, ginger may help fight dandruff due to its strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Reduce Your Sugar Consumption: Dandruff is often attributed to the Candida yeast, and sugary foods are thought to promote the (over)growth of this yeast in the body. In addition, sugar depletes the body of B vitamins, which should be a key component of any anti-dandruff diet.
4) Home Remedy
Fenugreek (methi) seeds have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help banish the white flakes while Apple Cider Vinegar restores the pH balance of the scalp, thereby inhibiting the growth of yeast. This homemade remedy also works as a natural hair clarifier and helps clean clogged pores and hair follicles.
Soak 2 tbsp. fenugreek seeds in water overnight and grind them into a paste the next morning. Mix this paste with 1 cup apple cider vinegar and apply this smooth paste on your scalp to leave for 30 minutes and then wash off with a mild shampoo.
Last but not the least some precautions that are recommended by Dr. Deepti to keep the scalp healthy:
- Pay attention to the cleanliness of your hair. Make sure you take care of your hair hygienically and maintain it clean and healthy.
- Keep your stress level low and eat healthy.
- Avoid using combs used by other people since dandruff is highly contagious.
- Use anti-dandruff shampoo at least once a week. While washing your hair, avoid the water from your hair dripping down your face as it may give birth to acne.
- Cut down on use of chemical products.
- Do not allow your hair to remain wet for a long time. Leaving the scalp wet for a long time facilitates growth of dandruff.
- Take a proper sleep of 7-8 hours.