Top 10 Remedies to Help You Deal with Dandruff
Skin! Sometimes it’s dry, sometimes it’s sweaty, sometimes you can see it and sometimes it’s covered in hair. In the case of dandruff, the skin on your head is dry or has a condition causing the skin to be flaky and fall off. However, you don’t have to suffer this dry, itchy, and unsightly issue for long. There are many anti-dandruff remedies, both from dermatologists and things you can do at home.
What is dandruff?
One of the most common skin conditions that practically all people experience occasionally, regardless of age, is dandruff. Dermatologists also call dandruff dermatitis or seborrhea. Most dandruff is mild-to-moderate dandruff that can affect the scalp, ears, eyebrows, sides of your nose, beard, and even the hairy part of the male chest! Dandruff can really affect anyone, without difference in hygiene or age- from babies to the elderly.
Some people are more inclined to suffer from chronic severe dandruff, while others experience its periodic forms through clearing cycles and outbursts. Commonly, dandruff occurs for a short time, but sometimes it may only worsen with time, constantly recurring.
You can recognize dandruff when you notice dry, flaky skin and an itchy scalp, sometimes with the areas of inflamed red or pink skin. Many people have only the white flakes, which are particularly noticeable on the dark clothes.
Some major causes of dandruff (why is this happening?)
According to WebMD, dandruff is not related to poor hygiene. However, infrequent shampooing can make dandruff more obvious. The exact cause of dandruff is yet to be discovered. Some researchers claim that dandruff causes are related to an increase in the skin’s oil production and secretion, with higher levels of normal skin yeasts. However, it would be a mistake to call dandruff a fungal infection. It is not the same as a contagious infection like a “ringworm” infection. The build-up of severe dandruff may be connected to other chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s disease or a weakened immune system due to the advanced HIV/AIDS.
Summing up all the studies we have read that discuss dandruff causes, we have found that there can be distinguished such risk factors like:
- Oily skin and scalp.
- Poor hygiene.
- Hot and humid or cold and dry weather.
- Weakened immune system.
- Some severe chronic illnesses.
- Emotional stress.
- Genetics, if dandruff runs in families.
How do I know if I have dandruff? Symptoms and signs
According to The U.S. American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the major signs and symptoms of dandruff include:
- White skin flakes on hair and clothes;
- Scaly skin of the ears, eyebrows, and nose;
- Itchy scalp.
In more severe forms, you may also experience these symptoms:
- Recurrent eczema-like flakes in the ears
- Rash over nose, ears, beard, and eyebrows
- Oily scalp
- Flaky, dry skin on your face
- Chest rash with red spots and dry flakes.
Also, individually dandruff can appear in any areas of the body where there are hair follicles. You won’t find dandruff on palms or soles. The most common symptom of dandruff is white flakes seen on the hair and clothes.
Top 10 remedies for dandruff
According to Healthline and ADD, mild-to-moderate dandruff removal can be done only with special anti-dandruff shampoos and lotions. If you are wondering how to cure dandruff, keep in mind that this problem can be connected to some chronic skin conditions. That is why you shouldn’t expect that dandruff can be cured overnight. You may need a few months of consistent treatment to see positive results. Some people need to control this condition throughout their lifetime.
The WebMD team offers 10 medical and natural remedies for dandruff that may be used with or without a prescription:
They are the first-choice dandruff remedies to decrease the yeast count on the skin. There are prescription and over the counter anti-fungal shampoos, and, according to some regular users, there is not much difference between them. The best shampoo for dandruff that you can find in a store might be:
- Zinc pyrithione shampoos (Head and Shoulders and similar);
- Selenium sulfide (like Selsun Blue Shampoo).
Keep in mind that if you find tar shampoos, using them may discolor blonde, white, or gray hair. Also, tar-based shampoos, despite all their science-backed efficacy, can make the scalp very sensitive to the direct sunlight.
These types of dandruff remedies are commonly aimed at decreasing the bacterial count on the scalp. According to WebMD, they may not be as effective as special anti-dandruff shampoos.
These are prescription steroid rinse-off shampoos that may decrease skin inflammation and itching. You can choose between fluocinolone acetonide (Capex) and clobetasol (Clobex) steroid shampoos.
These drugs for dandruff are applied and left on for a certain period of time. Steroids can be harmful to your health, that is why both oral and topical corticosteroids for dandruff should be prescribed only by professional dermatologists. The corticosteroids are available in oral pills, ointments, creams, lotions, solutions, sprays, and foams.
Tea tree oil
This is an essential oil that can be used for a number of skin conditions including for scaly patches. It should really only be used for short periods of time.
Aloe Vera gel
The thick liquid of Aloe Vera leaves may reduce the bacteria and inflammation caused by dandruff. You can make your own gel or buy a ready-made Aloe Vera gel at any homeopathic store.
Rubbing the baking soda into the wet hair and scalp a few times weekly can be also useful for the treatment of dandruff.
For the temporary healing and removal of white skin flakes, you may apply a little bit of olive oil directly to the patches. Then, use a comb to brush the affected area after an hour. Olive oil can help to moisturize dry skin in a natural way.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Taking omega-3 supplements in the form of fish-oil capsules may improve the symptoms of dandruff by decreasing skin inflammation on the scalp and face.
B-Vitamins, zinc, and selenium
The daily intake of B-Vitamins (especially B6, folate, and B12), as well as biotin, may be helpful in the prevention of dandruff flare-ups. You may also take multivitamins with zinc and selenium to improve the numerous skin conditions, including dandruff.
Additionally, different forms of dandruff in adults and children can be treated in the following ways:
- For the best dandruff treatment of face and ears, health care specialists recommend using the same shampoo that you apply to heal dandruff on your scalp;
- Eyelid dandruff can be cured by means of a gentle baby shampoo applied daily, you may use a cotton tip applicator to apply this shampoo without the risk of getting it into the eyes;
- “Cradle cap” in infants can be treated with frequent washes by means of a baby shampoo. Rubbing the baby’s scalp with a small soft toothbrush dipped in olive oil can help with the treatment of stuck-on and really thick dandruff flakes.
According to ADD, the prevention of dandruff is possible. Consider avoiding heavily oiled hair and oily scalp caused by certain skin products. Also, try avoiding wearing fitted hats, helmets, caps, and headbands.
How should you wash your hair with dandruff?
If you are wondering how to treat dandruff with a special shampoo, the following tips given by the experts of AAD can be helpful:
- Affected people can increase the frequency that they shampoo, washing up to 4-5 times per week, including the alternating use of a therapeutic shampoo for dandruff and your usual shampoo
- For the treatment of mild dandruff, you can wash your scalp with your best anti-dandruff shampoo every day or every other day
- You may to use hair conditioner after the use of an anti-dandruff shampoo, as it may dry your hair out (though using conditioner is always a good idea)
- To deal with severe symptoms like painful itching, you may need to consult a doctor
Sometimes, dandruff can be a case of a medical emergency. If you experience hair loss, have increased redness and itchiness of the scalp, despite proper treatment and hygiene, consider visiting a dermatologist.
However, keep in mind that dandruff also may just be the skin on your head adjusting to certain seasonal changes, dealing with stress, or maybe reacting to your newest shampoo.