Dandruff is a common condition that affects the scalp causing white, itchy and flaky skin on the scalp. These skin flakes falls off, leaving white flakes on the shoulders. Some people with dandruff develop hair loss due to severe itching and scratching. Scratching injures the hair follicle, leading to hair fall and hair loss. Dandruff can increase the hair loss in people with androgenic alopecia, a condition that causes male and female pattern baldness. Dandruff is not a contagious or serious condition but it is a cosmetic concern which can be very embarrassing.
Dandruff usually can be controlled. Mild cases of dandruff may need nothing more than daily wash with a gentle cleanser or shampoo. Severe cases of dandruff require proper treatment and medicated shampoos.
Dandruff usually affects teens and adults. Sometimes newborn babies too, have white flakes on scalp which is called cradle dandruff, but it goes away on its own. The symptoms of dandruff are white, oily-looking flakes of dead skin on the hair and shoulders, an itchy, scaly scalp and hair fall from scratching. The condition may fluctuate according to the seasonal changes.
Dry skin: In this case the dry skin is on other parts of the body, such as your legs and arms, as well. The flakes from dry skin are smaller and less oily and there is no redness or inflammation.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis: This is the most common cause of dandruff and it presents with red rashes, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales.
Malassezia: It is a fungus which lives on most people?s scalps. Sometimes it can irritate the scalp and cause the growth of extra skin cells. When these skin cells die, it can cause white scaly dandruff.
Contact dermatitis: Sensitivity to certain cosmetic products, such as shampoo or hair dye can cause red, itchy and flaky skin.
Age: Dandruff usually affects teenagers and adults. For some people, the problem can last lifelong.
Intimacy: Men are more prone to have dandruff. Some researchers think male hormones may play a role.
Oily hair and scalp: Oily scalp is an ideal place for the growth of the fungus Malassezia since it feeds on the moisture in the scalp.
Certain illness: People with compromised immune system are more to dandruff.
Ways to deal with dandruff and hair fall
- Use a mild and natural, herbal shampoo and always use natural hair products free of chemicals and irritants.
- Add moisture to scalp by regular oiling and massaging especially with coconut oil as it is said to have antifungal properties.
- Do not use too much oil if you have seborrheic dermatitis as it sometimes make this condition worse.
- Avoid irritating hair products: Hair dye and other hair products often contain ingredients such as natural or artificial fragrance that can irritate sensitive skin. This can lead to contact dermatitis.
- Stress can weaken your immune system over time. This can also cause dandruff and severe hair loss. Try to manage your stress by practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation.
Homeopathic management for dandruff
Homeopathic remedies are effective for the treatment of dandruff without any side effects. A well selected remedy along with proper lifestyle routine can help to control dandruff and hair fall.
Cochlearia armoracia: Cochlearia armoracia is considered a specific remedy for dandruff. It is one of the well-known homeopathic remedy for dandruff. The mother tincture can be applied externally for treating dandruff.
Kali sulph: Kali sulph is another effective remedy for dandruff where the flakes are yellow in colour.
Badiaga: Dandruff sore, dry, tatter like the scalp. Badiaga can be applied externally on the scalp for better results.
Thuja Occidentalis: Thuja is prescribed for white scaly dandruff. The hair is very dry and falls out.
Lycopodium clavatum: It is prescribed for dandruff with itching of the scalp and
headache. Worse after a hot bath. Hair falls out in bunches on combing causing baldness in single spots.
Natrum mur: It is best for dandruff which is worse on the margin of the scalp. White, scaly dandruff.
Sanicula: It is indicated for scaly dandruff over the scalp, eyebrows and other hairy parts.
Calcarea sulph: It is effective for dandruff with eruptions. Dandruff on the scalp causes eruptions with thick yellow crusts. Eczema or pimples due to dandruff. Falling of hair.
Graphites: Dandruff accompanied by skin eruptions like eczema and falling of hair. The scalp is scaly with intense itching.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus is best for dandruff with falling of hair in large bunches from severe itching of the scalp.