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What is Dandruff ?

Dandruff is defined as the condition of the scalp in which the superficial layer of the scalp is shed off. It is the chronic scalp condition that is marked by itching and falling of flakes of dead skin from the scalp.

Dandruff is a common scalp disorder affecting especially at the post-pubertal age. It leads to itching in the scalp.

The severity of symptoms of the disorder depends upon the moisture in the scalp and amount of oil produced by the sebum glands of the scalp and cleaning of the scalp.

Scales of dandruff are in the form of large clumps of dry, white or gray skin tissues that are easily visible. Keratinocytes cells play a very important role in the expression and generation of immunological reactions during dandruff formation.

The severity of this disorder formation depend upon the season and is often worsens in winter.

It is rare in children of age group 2-10 years but incidence increases with the age and most commonly affect the age group after post-puberty.

Who get affected with Dandruff?

Dandruff can occur in any age group but individuals after the age of puberty are more prone to develop dandruff.

Males are more commonly affected by dandruff than females.

Children can rarely develop dandruff.

What are the causes of Dandruff?

Following group of people are more prone to develop dandruff:-

• Dandruff severity depends upon the age in which the dandruff is affecting. Dandruff starts developing in the young adulthood and continues till middle age. In some people, it is a lifelong problem.

• Men are more affected by dandruff than females. Male hormone plays a very important role in the development of dandruff.

• Oily hair and scalp are more prone to develop dandruff due to the deposit of dirt on the scalp.

• Poor diet is also responsible for the formation of dandruff as poor dietary habits lack zinc.

There are many causes that lead to development of dandruff:-

• Dry skin: when there is winter season skin become dry in the overheated rooms is the most common cause of formation of dandruff and itching in the scalp.

 Oily skin is also the most frequent cause of dandruff and is marked by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. Dandruff due to oily skin is also termed as seborrheic dermatitis and it not only affects the scalp but others areas of body also that are rich in oil glands.

• If an individual do not wash his or her scalp regularly than oil and skin cells from the scalp can build up and lead to formation of dandruff.

• Psoriasis is also one of the causes that lead to formation of dandruff due to scales formation on the scalp.

• If eczema is present on the scalp it also leads to formation of dandruff.

• A yeast-like fungus named as Malassezia is also responsible for the formation of thick scabs of dandruff on the scalp.

 Some hair dyes are also responsible to formation of dandruff in individuals who are sensitive to that dyes.

What are the signs and symptoms of Dandruff?

• A white, oily looking flake of dead skin that occurs on your hair and fall on shoulders and the scalp is itching.

• Itching of the scalp due to dandruff is worse in winters and improves in summers.

• There is a typical type of dandruff that occurs in babies known as cradle cap. This type of disorder occurs in newborns and can occur anytime during infancy.

What investigations are required for Dandruff?

• Dandruff is diagnosed by just examining the scalp.

• Dandruff is diagnosed by its symptoms like itching, dryness and flaky scales.

• In cases of seborrheic dermatitis skin appear reddish, mild greasy and yellow scales.

• In cases of dandruff due to psoriasis plaques are silvery white and are with well-defined margins.

What treatment is advised for Dandruff?

• Shampoos made of salicylic acid are helpful in decreasing dandruff as they help in increasing the hydration of the scalp.

• Selenium sulfide is also helpful for treatment of dandruff.

• Zinc pyrithione is also used in shampoos to treat dandruff.

• Sulfur in shampoos act as a keratolytic and help in removing dandruff.

• Coal tar is keratoplastic help in removing and shedding dead cells from the top layer of the scalp.

• Neem is also helpful due to having anti-fungal properties.

How to control and manage Dandruff?

• Washing the scalp and hair regularly with quality shampoos containing salicylic acid.

• Less use of oil on the scalp.

• Apply oil to hair or scalp only 15 minutes before washing.

•  A good intake of diet also helps in keeping scalp healthy.

• Drink a lot of water and keep skin hydrating.

What are commonly indicated Homeopathic remedies which are advised for dandruff?

•  Kalium sulphuricum

•  Arsenicum album

•  Ammonium muriaticum

•  Hepar sulphuricum 

•  Mezereum

•  Graphites

•  Sanicula aqua

•  Phosphorus

•  Thuja occidentalis

For more information, you can visit Wikipedia and MedicalNewsToday.


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