Dandruff might not be as serious as most problems that we can have with our bodies but having such a problem can be very uncomfortable and annoying, not to mention downright embarrassing. There are actually millions of people suffering from dandruff. Many cannot stop themselves from scratching their scalp as dandruff can be very itchy. It is a good thing that this condition is not contagious and can be controlled and treated.
What Causes Dandruff?
Dandruff is believed to be caused by malassezia. This is a fat-eating fungus that thrives on the scalp of healthy adults. Although this is typically harmless, there are instances that will cause this fungus to excessively multiply and proceed to feed on the oil found in your scalp. This will result in increased cell production and numerous dead skin cells. The cells, when combined with the oil and dirt in your scalp, form into the characteristic white flakes we often call as dandruff.
What are the Symptoms of Dandruff?
Two of the common dandruff symptoms are itching and those white and oil flakes. Take note, though, that these two symptoms can also translate to other conditions like dermatitis, psoriasis, and dry skin. Therefore, it is important that you first consult your doctor, preferably a dermatologist, before you subject yourself to any form of dandruff treatment.
How is Dandruff Treated?
It might be controllable but dandruff tends to be persistent so a consistent treatment is ideal. The market today sells a wide array of over the counter shampoos that treat dandruff. There is no single formulation that works on everyone so if one kind of shampoo does not work for you, try another kind. Below are the four most common ingredients of anti-dandruff shampoos.
- Zinc pyrithione – This is an antifungal and antibacterial agent that can kill the fungus causing the dandruff.
- Selenium sulfide – This prevents cell turnover and help control the fungus malassezia. If you have gray or blond hair, you might experience discoloration. The same can happen with chemically-treated hair.
- Ketoconazole – This ingredient is found commonly in many anti-dandruff shampoos because of its broad anti-fungal powers.
- Tar – There are shampoos that use tar. Tar can bring down cell turnover which means less formation of those annoying flakes.
Aside from these shampoos, you can also use natural remedies to control dandruff. One of the most ideal natural products to treat dandruff is Argan oil. This miracle oil from Morocco contains high doses of vitamin E and essential fatty acids which are key nutrients to keeping both the hair and scalp healthy. It can control excess oil production in the scalp which would help control dandruff. The oil can also relieve you from the uncomfortable symptoms of dandruff like itchy scalp. The antiseptic properties of the oil help cleanse the scalp.
Aside from shampoos and natural remedies, there are still a number of ways to control dandruff. These include proper diet, stress management and going easy on the use of hair styling products. Following these simple guidelines should ensure that your scalp and hair remains flake-free and healthy.