Here is more confusion about dandruff than about any other hair problem. In India, it’s the ailment everybody worries about but nobody knows what the answer is. Is dandruff nearly as rampant as we all believe? Not at all. A lot of what is termed dandruff is in fact nothing of the kind. Many dandruff shampoos are unnecessarily used and may be very hazardous.
What is Dandruff?
The stratum corium of a normal scalp is made up of 24 to 40 layers of dead dry cells which have moved up from the basal layer of the skin to its surface from which they are sloughed off. The whole process takes about 28 days. In real dandruff, this sloughing process is exaggerated so that you are loosing flakes front 20 to 50 layers thick.This makes the stratum corium thinner and exposes fresh young cells to contact with outside world long before they are hardened and ready for it. It also disrupts the normal pattern of cell turnover another characteristic of real dandruff. You will find shampoos, creams, oils and lotions to prevent dandruff but the real problem is inside and dandruff, if not treated well on time result in acute problem and finally results in
Signs of Dandruff
- White or gray flakes on hair and clothing.
- Itchy scalp.
- Irritating scalp.
- Oily scalp.
- Avoid pollution. Cover your hair while in the sun and dust.
- If you have a lot of dandruff, it is tough to get rid of. Please consult your doctor who will recommend an anti–dandruff shampoo.
- You need to take care of your hair by shampooing every two days. Make sure you wash off the shampoo completely, otherwise it may actually lead to the formation of dandruff. Use a mild, non–medicated shampoo to control scalp oil without irritating your scalp.
- Use an anti–dandruff shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione. Allow the shampoo to work for 5 to 10 minutes. Wash your hair every two days.
- You have to consult your Doctor If:
- In spite of weeks of treatment, dandruff is not controlled.
- The stubborn dandruff has started causing you problems like scaly patches of skin on the upper part of your body like, the sides of your nose, in your eyebrows, or on your chest.
Some individuals may not find any relief from the persistent problem of dandruff even after a month. And then, face the problem of scalp inflammation or crust formation. This condition is known as seborrheic dermatitis. This is a functional disease of the sebaceous glands, in which there is excessive secretion or disturbed quality of sebum. Your physician can prescribe an anti–dandruff shampoo and a cream or lotion that contains hydrocortisone.
These are of three types
- Formation of large platelike crust (S.Icthyosis).
- Oily yellowish gray masses (S.Oleosa).
- Dry yellowish scales (S.Sicca).
Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis
The exact cause is unknown. The cause may differ in children and in adults. It is thought to be due to abnormality of the oil (sebaceous) glands and hair follicles. People who have increased secretion of oil tend to suffer the most. It may be due to fungal infection. Normally the fungal infection is present in the skin in small numbers, but sometimes its numbers increase, resulting in the skin disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis
The affected area on the skin becomes red and greasy. Over this appear white or yellowish scales. Seborrheic dermatitis normally affects the scalp, the face (in or between the eyebrows, along the sides of the nose and behind the ears), chest, and creases of the arms, legs and groin. Seborrheic dermatitis usually causes the skin to look a little greasy and scaly or flaky. It may cause itching and occasional soreness, especially in the groin area.
Treatment of Seborrheic Dermatitis
The treatment of seborrheic dermatitis depends on where it is located on the body and the age of the person. Dandruff is usually treated with a shampoo that contains salicylic acid, selenium sulfide or pyrithione zinc. Use this shampoos twice a week. Use this shampoo till your dandruff is controlled. Shampoos with coal/tar could also be used thrice a week. Researchers are still trying to find new and more effective ways to get rid of the dandruff nuisance. Until they're available, rest assured, you're not the only one itching to find a good solution to a flaky problem.
Dandruff is when you have small, loose flakes of skin all over the scalp. The scalp often itches a little too. In some cases it is caused by a yeast infection of the skin. If it is flaky only in one place or several separate places then you probably have another skin problem rather than dandruff. Dandruff is not catching. It often goes away quite suddenly and it does not make you bald. It may take a little while to combat it successfully. It may get worse if you are run down. Dandruff is increased cell renewal on the scalp. What may cause this is sluggish metabolism, poor diet, hormonal imbalances and infections. Dandruff is characterized by flaky particles with an oily sheen. You may stabilize this by washing with a medicated shampoo. You may also try massaging eight drops of rosemary oil mixed with 30 ml of olive oil into your scalp. You should leave in overnight then shampoo out in the morning.