Dealing With Dandruff
continuously sheds layers, with the scalp shedding
more than any other part of the body. Dandruff is an
excessive amount of larger-than-normal flakes of
scalp that stick to the shafts of the hair where
they may accumulate a buildup of oil, dust and hair
products. Large flakes eventually fall on the
collars and shoulders of clothes. There may be
associated irritation or itching.
Dandruff is a kind of seborrheic dermatitis of the
scalp, but with no inflammation. White scales and
flakes on the scalp that fall onto the shoulders are
clear signs of dandruff. Some irritation or itch may
The most common cause is the abnormal overproduction
and shedding of dead skin from the scalp.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a red, scaly and itchy rash
that cases the scalp to shed skin cells excessively.
The cause of this condition is unknown at present.
Pityrosporum is a microscopic fungus normally
present on oily areas of the skin. People who have
dandruff of ten have an unusually large amount of
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Massage your scalp for a few minutes each day to
stimulate the circulation and loosen dead skin
cells. Brush vigorously to remove loosened flakes.
Wash your hair regularly with an antidandruff
shampoo with fungicides. Rinse well to eliminate any
buildup of hair products.
Many people find that regular washing is beneficial,
however, some people may find that frequent washing
irritates their scalp.
Oily hair can often benefit from rinsing with fresh
lemon juice or cider vinegar diluted in water.
A dry scalp can often benefit from a warm oil
treatment used once a week. Massage olive, castor or
linseed oil into your hair and scalp and warm in a
hot towel for at least 10 minutes (preferably a few
hours) before washing.
Avoid the excessive use of hair products (including
dyes) and change shampoo if it is not effective. An
allergy-free product may be of benefit.
Stress and negative emotions have been known to play
a significant part in skin conditions such as
dandruff, so relaxation techniques may help.
WHEN TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR
Dandruff is usually more cosmetic than medical and
is generally considered harmless. However, in some
cases, dandruff may cause thinning of the hair and
may be stress-related. Severe persistent dandruff
may be a symptom of more serious conditions such as
eczema, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis and you
should consult your doctor.