Healthy hair is the most noticeable and important part of the personality that sets the tone of the entire look. Dandruff is a condition of unhealthy hair that causes the skin of the scalp to flake. One can feel embarrassed if these flakes get noticed in the peers. It is not a serious or contagious disease but can be difficult to treat. Scientifically known as seborrheic dermatitis, it can be treated with a mild shampoo or in some cases with medicated shampoo and creams. The occurrence of this condition in babies is known as cradle cap. It is often accompanied by itching.
This condition is not related to hygiene and cleanliness but can be prevented with frequent washing and brushing of hair. The scalps consist of natural oils that keep the skin and hair well moisturized and nourished. A microbe known as Malassezia Globosa feeds on this oil. As the oils break down, they produce an acid which makes the skin irritated and inflamed. The inflammation causes the scalp to become red and itchy. This signals the brain to shed skin cells at a faster rate. The scalp sheds these flakes to get rid of the itchiness and discomfort.
Other factors that worsen dandruff are:
- Irritated and oily skin: – This can affect the body parts which are rich in oil glands such as creases of nostrils, armpits, etc. The bacteria feed on the oil-producing acid which irritates the skin.
- Dry skin: – flakes due to dry skin are smaller and less oily. This condition is mostly seen in colder climates and winters make the skin dry.
- Frequent shampoo: – shampoo is necessary to get rid of all the bacteria on the scalp. The foam generated kills the bacteria and prevents its reproduction for a few days. However, shampooing too often can make the skin dry and be another reason for dandruff. There are some best medicated dandruff shampoos in India.
- Brushing your hair regularly: – frequent brushing of hair helps to evenly distribute oils in the scalps. It also helps in better circulation of the blood in the scalp that promotes hair growth.
- Air pollution: air outside is too polluted containing aerosols, acid, carbon soot, etc. all these promote the growth of bacteria and hence dandruff in the scalp.
- Unbalanced diets: – hair is an important part of our body and to keep them healthy and nourishing we need to provide them with a suitable diet. Zinc, vitamin B, fats are important to prevent the occurrence of dandruff.
- Stress: – Stress can cause the itch-scratch cycle where the more you scratch, the itchier the skin becomes. It can hamper the immune system of the body.
Symptoms of dandruff are:
- White flakes: – this is the most visible symptom of dandruff. One can see the flakes in hair, on the scalp, and sometimes even on the shoulder. Dandruff can even appear in facial hair like eyebrows, eyelashes, etc.
- Itchy scalp: – it is the first symptom and usually a warning sign before the occurrence of flakes. It is mainly the result of inflammation due to acid production and can cause the redness of the hairline.
- Dry scalp: – dry scalp means no moisture which causes more and short flake occurrence on the scalp. It is a must for the hairs to be moisturized with a moisturizing shampoo or serum.
Dandruff can be a real headache and one needs to take proper measures to get rid of this condition. Regular use of medicated anti-dandruff shampoo in India, brushing, balanced diet, etc together with advice from doctors can help us to keep it in check.