Dandruff is a common skin condition that causes white or grey flakes of skin to appear on the scalp and in the hair. More than 50% of the adult population suffer from dandruff. In plain words, dandruff can be called sickness of scalp or a skin condition and is also commonly called seborrheic dermatitis in medical terms. It is not contagious, which implies that it does not spread from one person to another.
Dandruff is not a big problem but surely the one that needs attention as it makes one feel socially awkward when the white flakes fall on shoulders. Psychology around dandruff says that no one wants it or likes to see it on themselves or others.
What are main factors responsible for causing dandruff-
- Dandruff is caused by multiple factors but the main cause of dandruff is the fungus called Malassezia globosa. It feeds off the oils on your skin and hair which lead to formation of scales, seen outside. Usually this fungus does not bring any harm in the body but in case of dandruff, the levels of malassezia are increased by 15 to 20 folds more than the normal level.
- When the fungus feeds on oils / sebum of skin, it produces oleic acid, which can irritate the skin. In some people, this fungal activity can set off an immune response which can bring about a rapid turnover of skin cells.
- The impact of air pollution in this situation can make the things worse.
Why dandruff should never be ignored?
If the symptoms of dandruff are persistent, they need to be addressed. The ignorance may lead to-
- Pus cells
- Itchy and scratchy scalp
- Hair fall
5 Reliable home remedies to get rid of Dandruff-
These 5 remedies help to lessen the appearance of flakes and cure the dandruff from its root. These, in combination with the necessary lifestyle changes, help in erasing the dandruff altogether within a month or two.
1. Positive aspects of Hibiscus-
- Take five to six hibiscus flowers.
- Boil them in small quantity of water and blend into a paste.
- To this blend, add warm coconut oil and apply onto the scalp. To see the best outcome, keep it as such for more than 1.5 hours. Next, clean it off with the aid of luke warm water.
- The benefits of this home remedy include that, it is rich in amino acids and vitamin C and strengthens the roots of hair.
2. Impact of Fenugreek seeds & yoghurt on dandruff-
- Take fenugreek seeds and yoghurt in a bowl and put 2-3 curry leaves into it. Then drop 2-3 amlas into this bowl and mix well.
- Make application of this paste on the head, covering the scalp well in a smooth manner.
- Wash the paste off after some time.
- The prime benefit that this remedy gives you is that it is vitamin C rich and removes fungus from the scalp while yoghurt lubricates and moisturises the skin.
3. Homemade Anti- dandruff paste-
- Gather the following ingredients-3 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds, 1 tablespoon of ginger powder, 2 Tablespoons of curd, Gramflour-1 tablespoon, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, half a lemon.
- Soak fenugreek seeds in water for 2 hours.
- Drain water after the completion of 2 hours and grind the seeds. Keep the drained water aside for later use.
- Add ginger to this coarse mixture followed by putting coconut oil.
- Make addition of half a lemon, curd &gram flour.
- Blend properly into a thick pain.
- Add on the extracted water from fenugreek seeds into this Anti-dandruff paste as per requirement.
- Apply the paste on scalp and massage for few minutes.
- Let it stay on for 45 minutes or keep it overnight.
- Rinse in a proper manner with warm water and mild shampoo.
4. Hair mask to cure dandruff-
- Combine the juice of lemon into honey and yoghurt and stir properly to form paste. Put this hair mask on and wash it off after few hours.
- The juice of lemon removes dandruff for the particular reason, that is, it contains citric acid.
- Yoghurt contains lactic acid and lactobacillus enzymes that helps to effectively control dandruff.
- Honey plays the role of moisturizer in this hair mask and thus enriches the scalp and hair with moisture.
5. Essential attributes of Tea tree oil-
- Tea tree oil, one of the best essential oils, has some potent anti- microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- According to one review, tea tree oil is effective againstspecificstrainof fungus that can cause dandruff.
- A four-week study examined the impacts of this essential oil on dandruff by treating 126 people daily with a shampoo containing either 5% of tea tree oil. At the end of the study, it reduced the severity of symptoms by 41% and decreased greasiness and itchiness.
6. Lifestyle changes to keep dandruff at bay-
- Soften and remove scales from your hair.
- Avoid harsh soaps and use moisturizers to prevent dryness and smoothen out your skin
- Avoid hairstyling products while treating this condition.
- To stay on the safer side, avoid using hair care and skin care products that contain alcohol.
- Wash your hair frequently. The practice of shampooing your hair often, especially if you have high oil activity in the scalp proves to be beneficial. Also, longer time given to lathering will reduce the count of fungus in the scalp.
- Application of oil spreads infection when person is impacted with dandruff, so try to keep distance from it. In case, you feel like oil conditioning your hair, do not keep it for more than an hour.
- Use thick comb and do back combing to combat dandruff.
- Finger massage your hair to avoid flake sticking.
- Anti-fungal shampoos exhibit great performance in curing dandruff. Shampoos with chemicals that can help kill the fungus off help in doing so. The most effective anti-fungal are Miconazole and Ketoconazole. Ketoconazole is found in some shampoos, but Miconazole is currently only available in skin cream. These products work by reducing the proliferation of the fungus Malassezia globosa.
- The skin turnover activity caused by the fungus feeding can be retarded by the application of coal tar shampoos. Though beneficial, these shampoos may discolour fair hair.
- Products of hair that have good quantity of salicylic acid can help to eliminate the flakes.
- The hair care products containing the elements like zinc or selenium can also target the fungus. Be sure to read the instructions that come with the shampoo before using it to check if the product is suitable for you and to see how often it should be applied.
At what point is doctor’s visit crucial?
You don’t usually need to see the doctor if you have dandruff, but it is the right thing to do in case you experience these symptoms-
- You have tried anti-dandruff shampoos for at least a month and your symptoms have not improved.
- The severity of dandruff is very high or your scalp is very itchy.
- The appearance of scalp is red or swollen.
- You have a weakened immune system – for example, you are having chemotherapy, you have HIV, or you are taking medication that suppresses the immune system.
In the above scenario, doctor can examine your scalp to check for the skin conditions that could be causing your dandruff.
Also, Researchers have now sequenced the genetic code of Malassezia and are working on more specific targeted drugs to kill it – a group of drugs known as sulphonamides work in the opposite direction, but nothing containing these drugs has been made available for dandruff yet.