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Dandruff

Definition:

Dandruff, also known as seborrheic dermatitis is a common scalp disorder. It can occur due to dry skin, irritated oily skin, growth of bacteria and fungus on the scalp, inflammatory skin conditions and other such factors. It causes itchiness along with excessive formation of dry skin flakes on the scalp.

Signs & Symptoms:

Symptoms

For most teens and adults, dandruff symptoms are easy to spot: white, oily-looking flakes of dead skin that dot your hair and shoulders, and a possibly itchy, scaly scalp. The condition may worsen during the fall and winter, when indoor heating can contribute to dry skin, and improve during the summer.

A type of dandruff called cradle cap can affect babies. This disorder, which causes a scaly, crusty scalp, is most common in newborns, but it can occur anytime during infancy. Although it can be alarming for parents, cradle cap isn’t dangerous and usually clears up on its own.

Cause:

Dandruff can have several causes, including:

Irritated, oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis). This condition, one of the most frequent causes of dandruff, is marked by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. Seborrheic dermatitis may affect your scalp and other areas rich in oil glands, such as your eyebrows, the sides of your nose and the backs of your ears, your breastbone (sternum), your groin area, and sometimes your armpits.

Not shampooing often enough. If you don’t regularly wash your hair, oils and skin cells from your scalp can build up, causing dandruff.

A yeastlike fungus (malassezia). Malassezia lives on the scalps of most adults. But, for some, it irritates the scalp and can cause more skin cells to grow.

The extra skin cells die and fall off, making them appear white and flaky in your hair or on your clothes. Why malassezia irritates some scalps isn’t known.

Dry skin. Flakes from dry skin are generally smaller and less oily than those from other causes of dandruff. And, redness or inflammation is unlikely. You’ll probably have dry skin on other parts of the body, such as your legs and arms, too.

Sensitivity to hair care products (contact dermatitis). Sometimes sensitivities to certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes can cause a red, itchy, scaly scalp.

How To Cure:

  1. Olive Oil

Scalp dryness can be cured with regular use of extra-virgin olive oil, an effective natural moisturizer.

Heat some extra virgin olive oil until it is slightly warm.

Massage it onto your scalp and then wrap your hair in a warm towel.

Leave it on for at least 45 minutes or overnight and then shampoo and condition your hair.

Repeat this remedy a few times a week.

  1. White Vinegar

White vinegar is one of the best home treatments for dandruff. Vinegar has acetic acid that prevents growth of fungi on your scalp and relieves itching.

Add one-half cup of vinegar to two cups of water. Rinse your hair with this mixture after shampooing your hair.

Another option is massage your scalp with a mixture of two parts white vinegar, one part olive oil and three parts water. After 10 minutes, rinse it off and shampoo your hair using a mild shampoo.

Follow either of these remedies once or twice a week.

  1. Baking Soda

Being a mild exfoliant, baking soda helps remove dead skin cells and absorbs excess oil. It can also help balance pH levels on the scalp and reduce the growth of fungi that cause dandruff.

Wet your hair and rub a handful of baking soda onto your scalp.

After a couple of minutes, rinse your hair well with warm water.

Repeat once or twice a week for a few weeks.

Note: Do not shampoo your hair after this treatment.

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