Dealing With Dandruff

 
Your skin 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 be present.

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 pityrosporum.

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.
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Happy reading,
Evelyn


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