So Many Ways to Prevent and Treat Dandruff

Dandruff is more of a cosmetic problem than a medical issue because of white unsightly flakes developing in abundance in the hair and scalp. A vast majority of human beings around the world have this ubiquitous condition that is the result of dermatitis (skin inflammation) due to seborrhea or build up of dead skin in the scalp.

Dandruff – Its Causes

Because of its need to always stay healthy, the skin constantly replaces itself with new skin tissue. The dead skin cells fall off and are replaced by new skin formations that rise up from underneath these dead skin tissues. This is all perfectly normal; however, people suffering from too much dandruff have an overabundance of these dead cells that accumulate in the scalp.

It is not true that dandruff flaking is due to extreme dryness of the scalp. As mentioned above, the flaking occurs due to an overabundance of dead skin cells in the scalp. Certain dermatologists and physicians think that dandruff is the result of an imbalance in the hormones, or an overgrowth of fungi residing on the skin.

If the scalp of a person is typically moist and free of dandruff, he/she might still experience dandruff from time to time but its cause may be due to his/her failure to completely wash off shampoo from the head when taking a bath or a shower. Unwashed and residual shampoo on the scalp often leads to scalp irritation in a lot of people especially if the person has sensitive skin.

Current research has led to the assumption that dandruff may be passed on genetically and that stress and anxiety may be triggers for the development of dandruff. In certain cases, dandruff can be a symptoms or sign of eczema or psoriasis.

Based on the tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, internal causes underpin the generation of dandruff. These causes may include overabundance of heat or yin deficiency. Dandruff usually sets in when the body does not have enough cooling energy or body fluid.

Symptoms of Dandruff

Dandruff can lead to symptoms that may include:

-Development of white tiny flakes on the scalp
-An itchy scalp
-A scalp with red bright patches
-Excessive greasy skin and hair

There may be occasions when other hair-covered parts of the body can also suffer from this condition. Occasionally:

-The skin might develop scaly patches above the ears
-Red areas mighty develop on the face, especially on the forehead and areas surrounding the eyebrows
-A yellow hard crust can ooze from the skin if it is dry and cracked

Diagnosing Dandruff

Basic cases of dandruff can be detected by the person and resolved without the need for any medical intervention. But, if the dandruff problem is severe, treatment may require the help of a health practitioner such as a dermatologist to make sure that adequate treatment may be rendered and to make sure no underlying problem exists that may have caused the dandruff.

Treatment of Dandruff

The application of shampoo fortified with pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, or more importantly selenium on the scalp is perhaps the most common treatment for dandruff.

A diet of fresh vegetables and fruits including pears, carrots, radishes, spinach and celery can also help. Other foods good for dandruff sufferers include brown rice, mussels, oysters and fish. To help prevent the rise of dandruff, vitamins C, E and A taken in adequate amounts should help.

Supplements of biotin that is found in B-complex vitamins can be helpful in the fight against dandruff. Biotin on its own and biotin from B-complex vitamins can both be taken for better results.

Some other remedies that can help neutralize dandruff include:

Wintergreen and eucalyptus oils – They can be made into ointment that acts as a general healer and a skin antiseptic which can be very effective in treating dandruff.

Burdock root – In order to soothe the inflammation and bring about healing, burdock root needs to be applied topically; this herb can be found at your local health food stores and can be used internally, as well. When all other treatments have proved unsuccessful, Burdock is usually the only treatment that will work.

Aloe vera lotion – You can apply lotion on your scalp or other affected parts of your body for a month or a month and a half twice a day with a 30% solution of this lotion.

Tea tree oil – Tea tree oil is a very powerful essential oil that can be used to treat various kinds of health conditions. For the treatment of dandruff, you can add a 5% solution of this oil in water to wash your scalp everyday for several weeks. If the effect of tea tree oil is too strong on your skin, discontinue its use.

Zinc – To help stop or prevent dandruff, taking 30 mg of zinc can make the skin healthy.

Borage oil and primrose oil– Use as indicated on the label

Copper – The recommended amount for the treatment of dandruff is 3 mg daily.

One other very effective way of fighting dandruff is to wash your hair in a solution of 10 parts water, one part hydrogen peroxide and one part apple cider vinegar. Use the solution as a shampoo and afterwards vigorously rinse you hair. After rinsing, apply on your scalp tea tree oil (20 drops), and massage your scalp. You can leave the tea tree oil on your scalp overnight. This technique eliminates the fungus and clears off the flakes on your scalp.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners argue that dandruff is a secondary symptom of certain disorders or imbalances in the body. To treat this condition they highly recommend acupuncture for long-term resolution of this problem.

Dandruff Prevention

In you want a healthy scalp and skin and prevent the rise of dandruff you need to eliminate eggs and dairy products from your diet. Gluten can also cause the development of dandruff and other skin conditions so avoiding this is important for dandruff sufferers. Some doctors think that avoiding chocolate, seafood, peanuts , sugar and fats can also help in preventing dandruff.

Dandruff Risk Factors

No one is immune to dandruff. If you have dandruff it is important to thoroughly wash off any traces of shampoo from your scalp when you are bathing or showering as this is the most common reason for its occurrence.

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Dandruff Lifestyles and Home Remedies

Listed below are basic lifestyle and home remedies to help control your dandruff problem.

Wash your hair on a regular basis – When you clean you hair regularly excess dead skin cells are prevented from collecting on the scalp, accumulation of residual oil (sebum) is lessened and hair follicles are stimulated. It is, therefore, a must that you regularly wash your hair with an herbal or mild shampoo. When you have finished shampooing your hair, thoroughly rinse it with cold water because soap left in the scalp can irritate the scalp. So as not to let dead skin cells and oil to accumulate on the scalp, it is important to wash your hair every day or at least every other day.

Brush your hair – Brush your hair after you have shampooed during shower. If your hair is still wet, there is no need to brush it yet. You can wait till your hair is slightly damp before brushing it.  You need to use a good quality hair brush for brushing your hair and scalp and brush by slowly working outward. This way of brushing can evenly distribute the naturally occurring oil in your scalp along the hair strands and prevent the sebum from accumulating on the scalp area. Brush your hair a minimum of twice a day to get good results.
Use an anti-dandruff shampoo – A good dandruff shampoo should contain ingredients like zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide.  You can talk to a dermatologist who can recommend a good anti dandruff shampoo for you. When washing your hair with this type of shampoo, leave the shampoo for a minimum 5 minutes before rinsing it off. This allows the shampoo to work in an optimal manner.

Eat a healthy diet – A good and healthy diet consisting of foods rich in vitamin B can nourish the scalp and stabilize it. Foods recommended for people with excessive dandruff include vegetables, water based fruits, salmon, sardines, sunflower seeds, red meat and shellfish. Avoid greasy and oily foods as well as seafood, flour, animal fats, junk foods and sugar.

Drink water – Drinking adequate amounts of water coupled with a good diet will wash out harmful products and toxins in the body. Around eight to ten glasses of water a day is good enough to keep the body properly hydrated. You can include vegetable and fruit juices along with water for hydration and avoid or limit consumption of coffee and alcohol.

Lifestyle change – A good lifestyle that can resolve your dandruff problem is one involving getting adequate sleep (minimum of 6 hours) and doing regular physical exercise.

Limit or avoid use of styling products – Certain styling products (gels, sprays, etc.) can assist in the collection of oil in the scalp. Heat from blow dryers and hair dye chemicals can dry out the scalp causing a lot of flakes.

Avoid sun exposure – Too much sun can cause sunburn and lead to dead skin cells in the scalp. Avoid too much sun exposure in the scalp by wearing a cap, hat or a scarf.

Tea tree oil – Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that kill fungus and help the scalp stay moisturized.

Apple cider vinegar rinse – Apple cider vinegar can help clean out hairspray, conditioner, shampoo residues and whatever else you’re putting on your scalp. Keeping you scalp clean will rid you off any dandruff and itchy scalp problem. After you have shampooed your hair use a solution of water and apple cider vinegar to rinse your hair. Next, use a towel to cover your head. Cover your head for about 30 minutes and then go to the shower to wash the solution off. Apple cider vinegar rinse can be done just once a week.

Massage your scalp – Massaging your scalp on a daily basis is good for controlling dandruff. When massaging your scalp be sure to use essential oil as it can assist a lot in limiting the development of dandruff.  You can use tea tree, lemon or rosemary oil. Use a few drops of essential oil and with it gently massage the scalp for around 15 to 20 minutes. Do this before going to bed.  The next morning wash off the oil with anti-dandruff shampoo.

Hot oil treatment – Getting a treatment of hot oil once a week helps remove dandruff when you’re having dandruff problems. Hot oil treatment will keep your hair soft and shiny and will help nourish your scalp.  You can use oils such as light vegetable oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, almond oil or olive oil for this type of treatment. Choose the oil that works best on you. Slightly warm the oil and then use it to massage your scalp and hair with your finger tips. After you have done massaging, don a shower cap and wait for a few minutes before shampooing your hair.  A hot oil treatment is a nourishing and soothing treatment for your hair. You can utilize this treatment a minimum of two times a week.

Minimize your level of stress – The proliferation of dandruff in your scalp can also be due to a high stress level in your body. Besides dandruff stress can also cause a great number of health conditions. Research has observed that the severity and incidence of dandruff starts to lessen after the underlying reasons for stress are resolved. Therefore, if you are serious in treating your dandruff, you need to manage your stress level well. You can reduce stress through meditation, exercise and acupuncture.

Take in right amounts of sunlight – As stated above, too much sun exposure is bad for you.  Limited sun exposure, though, is beneficial for you if you have dandruff problem. Sunlight stimulates the development of vitamin D3 and likewise stimulates the production of healthy oils in the skin. You might want to expose yourself to sunlight during late evening or in the morning to help you rid of your dandruff. Expose your head during these times of the day but be sure not to overexpose yourself..

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