Dandruff is a common condition that leads to the flaking of the skin of the head or scalp. Dandruff can be embarrassing; though dandruff is not a severe and contagious problem, it is hard to treat. The usual symptoms of dandruff in adults include flaking of the skin of the head. The hair of the beard, mustache are filled with whitish grains like stuff.
The persons having dandruff usually have severe itching on the scalp. The scalp of infants becomes scaly or crusty due to dandruff. We will discuss different causes of dandruff and ways to get rid of dandruff ahead.
Causes of dandruff
Dandruff has many different causes; one of the most common causes of dandruff is the infection of some fungus such a Malassezia species. Seborrheic keratosis or dermatitis is considered a leading cause of dandruff. The other common causes of dandruff include extremely dry or excessively oily skin, no proper use of shampoo for washing the hair, hypersensitivity or allergy to specific products, and other medical conditions like psoriasis or eczema.
Some factors may enhance the prevalence of dandruff. It is most common among young male adults, and it is a notion that male hormones have some role in the development of dandruff. In addition, certain diseases like Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases and diseases weakening the immune system like HIV seem to enhance dandruff’s occurrence, especially the dandruff of fungal infection.
Home-based remedies to get rid of dandruff
As said above, dandruff is not such a severe medical condition; one should try to treat it with home-based remedies. These home-based remedies have exerted a significant effect on the removal of dandruff. There is a huge list of home-based remedies to get rid of dandruff.
We are going to discuss different home-based remedies for the treatment of dandruff in the following section.
Tea Tree Oil
You can use many oils to treat dandruff, and tea tree oil is one of the most effective home-based remedies to treat persistent dandruff. Tea tree has been used in the past to treat various medical conditions like psoriasis and acne. It is used in treat dandruff because according to researches has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory actions.
Most of the symptoms of dandruff-like itching are due to inflammation, so tea oil seems to relieve those symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties. We also discussed that fungal infections often lead to the development of dandruff; tea oil also has antimicrobial properties; thereby, it helps control the dandruff of fungal origin.
Some studies have shown that a four-week treatment with tea tree oil reduces dandruff’s symptoms like itchy and greasy scalp in 40 percent of people. However, it essential to be conscious that you may get a specific allergy to this oil if you use tea tree oil as a home remedy. If you are allergic to this oil, use it after diluting it with other oil like coconut oil.
Coconut oil is another oil used as a home-based remedy that you can use to treat dandruff. As discussed above, dry skin is at more risk of the development of dandruff; hydration can prevent or treat dandruff in people with dry skin. Coconut is an efficient oil to be used for hydration of your skin and to prevent dryness.
Using coconut oil for eight weeks reduces dandruff in almost 70 percent of people. Coconut oil also demonstrates some antimicrobial activity that makes its use for dandruff treatment more logical. However, its antimicrobial action again specific fungal species that cause dandruff has not been proven yet.
Aloe Vera and Apple Cider Vinegar
Aloe vera is also a suggested product that you can use for dandruff. Unfortunately, no such thorough study shows how aloe vera helps in dandruff treatments, but many dermatologists advise it nowadays. The possible way by which aloe vera reduces dandruff is its antimicrobial or antifungal action. It also reduces hair loss.
Apple cider vinegar is another home-based remedy that you can use yoga get rid of persistent dandruff. The idea is that the acidity of the apple cider vinegar lowers the skin’s ph, which leads to the shedding of the dry and dead cells of the skin; it also reduces the fungal growth by disturbing the optimum PH for their growth. The proper method of using apple cider vinegar is to combine shampoo or some other oil or direct spray in the hair.
Aspirin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salicylic acid is recently being used in many shampoos to get rid of dandruff, and it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. The salicylic acid causes the scaly skin to shed off; it causes the flaking on the scalp to lose and then shed off. This salicylic acid is the main component of aspirin, so aspirin can be used as a home-based remedy to treat dandruff.
If you want to use aspirin for dandruff, take few tablets of aspirin, mash them and add the powder to your shampoo bottle. Another product that you can use as a home-based remedy for dandruff is the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for our body; they make the cell membrane of cells and are also vital to the efficient development of the immune system. If your immune system is more potent, it will not allow the fungus to cause infection, leading to dandruff development. They also regulate the oil production and hydration of the skin.
Probiotics and Baking Soda
Probiotics can help cope with the problem of dandruff. Probiotics contain many beneficial bacteria; these bacteria enhance the efficiency of the immune system, thereby help in reducing dandruff caused by fungal infections. You can take probiotics as a food supplement; they are also available in combination with certain foods.
You can also use baking soda to reduce dandruff; its use is as an exfoliator of scaly skin. It also has a potent antifungal effect. It causes the reduction of fungal dandruff in 80 percent of people if used appropriately. The suggested way of using it is to apply it on the scalp after a bath directly or wash the head and massaging it.
Reduce Your Stress Level
One most important thing that you should always stay in your mind is that stress reduction is necessary for a healthy life. Dandruff is not directly related to stress, but it is indirectly related to stress like many other diseases. If you stress too much about minor things, your immune system will become fragile and weakened.
That weak immune system would not be able to fight fungal infections. The fungal infections will ultimately cause dandruff. So if you want to run away from persistent dandruff, you should notice that you are not taking too much stress. The reduction of stress will fasten the process of removal of dandruff (2).
Medical Treatments of Dandruff
Usually, dandruff is not a severe disease or medical emergency, and upon consultation with the doctor, you will get the suggestion of trying the home-based remedies described above. However, if your dandruff is highly severe and does not respond to home-based remedies, the doctor will prescribe you certain medicines.
Though the drugs are also a limited treatment of dandruff, they can significantly reduce the symptoms such as itching, irritation, and flaking of the scalp. The medications that physicians or dermatologists usually prescribe for the treatment of dandruff are given below.
Ketoconazole Shampoos and Tar-based Shampoos
Ketoconazole shampoos are one of the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of dandruff. These shampoos are available at most medical stores or general stores. They remove dandruff by killing the pathogenic fungi that cause dandruff. Nizoral A-D, Xtina, and Xelogel have routinely used ketoconazole shampoos.
Another medication for dandruff is tar-based shampoos; tar-based shampoos reduce dandruff by slowing down the growth process of the skin. When skin grows slowly, it will not cause flakings, and you will feel reduced typical itch and irritation of dandruff.
Doctors often prescribe selenium sulfide for the treatment of dandruff. They have potent antifungal activity and are readily available. Dabdrex, Susun blue, and Selseb are the most common selenium sulfide shampoos that you can use.
Sulfa antibiotics are also effective for the treatment of Dandruff. Another group of drugs that contains zinc pyrithione you can for the treatment of Dandruff.
When should you consult a doctor?
We discussed the most commonly used medications of dandruff in the above section. However, you may not be able to decide which of these shampoos you should use. You should consult your dermatologist in this regard; they will determine the type of medicine to be used, whether those medicines to be used as a solo drug or in combination with other medications.
They will decide this based on your history, your clinical presentation, and the treatment options available. Once you start a medicine on your doctor’s prescription, you may need to follow up an appointment with your doctor to determine the effectiveness of the medication that you are using. For example, if one drug is not reducing your dandruff, you can shift to another medicine according to your doctor’s advice.
Recommendations from Dr. Fatima
Irrespective of whether you are taking a medication or using some home-based remedies to get rid of dandruff, you should keep a general pattern of everyday routine to boost the effectiveness of the therapy you are using.
First, you should set your diet plan to contain minimum carbohydrates because a carbohydrates-rich diet causes glycogen accumulation in the body, creating an ideal environment for the yeast to grow. Plant-based diets are better if you want to escape persistent dandruff.
The second general change that you can bring to get rid of this problem is frequently washing your hair or scalp; you can wash the only scalp instead of taking a complete bath. If you have a dry scalp, the regular use of oil can help achieve your goal.
Finally, use the appropriate methods to exfoliate the scaly skin instead of scratching it.
This blog guides you about the different aspects of the treatment of dandruff. The initial part of the blog contains the introduction and causes of dandruff. There are descriptions of different home remedies that can help reduce the symptoms of dandruff. These home remedies include different oil, apple vinegar, aspirin, and some other products.
After home-based remedies, there is a description of medical treatments of dandruff. Most of the medications of dandruff are reaching over the counter in the form of shampoos. The last part includes the general lifestyle changes that can boost home remedies or medical treatments in getting rid of dandruff.
Frequently Asked Question
1: What causes dandruff?
There are many causes of dandruff. The most familiar causes of dandruff include fungal infections, extremely dry or excessively oily skin. It can also occur secondary to some other medical conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
2: Can babies get dandruff?
Dandruff does not usually occur in young children and infants. However, babies can get a typical condition called “Cradle Cap,” which presents as crusty patches on the skin of the scalp. The color of those crusts varies, but usually, they are red.
3: Does dandruff mean dry skin?
Dandruff can be an outcome of dry skin, but it is not always due to dry skin. There are other causes of dandruff as well, like fungal infections.
4: Does dandruff shampoo work?
Yes, dandruff shampoos are beneficial to get rid of persistent dandruff. These shampoos contain medication that inhibits fungal growth, suppresses the over-proliferation of the skin. So, they are extremely helpful in getting rid of flaking of the skin and dandruff.
5: Can dandruff be cured?
There is no such permanent treatment or cure for dandruff; however, home-based remedies and medication can significantly reduce the symptoms of dandruff.
6: Are there any home remedies for dandruff?
Yes, there are many home remedies to cope with dandruff. Examples of these home remedies include using different oils to reduce dandruff and certain other home-based products that suppress fungal growth.