Dandruff

Dandruff is a chronic and common scalp condition characterized by flaking of the skin on the scalp. Dandruff is not contagious or serious.

Dandruff can often be controlled.

Symptoms

The symptoms of dandruff are easy to spot: white, oily looking flakes of dead skin spreading through the hair and shoulders, and possibly an itchy, peeling scalp.

Causes

Some examples of medical problems that may be related to dandruff include the following:

Irritated and oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis)
This condition, which is one of the most common causes of dandruff, is characterized by red, oily skin covered with white or yellow scales.

Seborrheic dermatitis can affect the scalp and other areas with abundant sebaceous glands, such as the eyebrows, sides of the nose and back of the ears, breastbone, groin area, and sometimes the armpits.

Not washing with shampoo often enough

If you don’t wash your hair regularly, the oil and skin cells on your scalp can build up, producing dandruff.

A yeast-type fungus (malassezia).
Malassezia fungus lives on most adult scalps. However, in some cases, it irritates the scalp and can cause more skin cells to grow.
Dry skin
Dry skin flakes are usually smaller and less oily than flakes that produce dandruff.
Sensitivity to hair care products (contact dermatitis)
Sensitivity to certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes can sometimes cause redness of the scalp, as well as itching and flaking.

Treatment

In general, daily washing with a mild shampoo to reduce oiliness and skin cell buildup can often help with mild dandruff.

Dandruff shampoos are classified according to the medication they contain:

Shampoos with zinc pyrithione. These contain zinc pyrithione, an antibiotic and antifungal agent.

Shampoos based on tar derivatives. Mineral tar, a by-product of the coal manufacturing process, is effective in treating conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

Shampoos containing salicylic acid. These “scalp exfoliants” help to remove scales.

Shampoos containing selenium sulfide. These shampoos slow skin cell death and may also reduce malassezia

Shampoos with ketoconazole.

Although more studies need to be done, some have found that tea tree oil can reduce dandruff.

Tea tree oil, which comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), has been used for centuries as an antiseptic, antibiotic, and antifungal agent. It is now included in several shampoos that can be found in health food stores. The oil can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Vitamins

Vitamin B: It is needed to produce hemoglobin in the blood, which is essential to get oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues, including hair.

Vitamin B6: Its deficiency is one of the main causes of baldness. It also intervenes in the production of keratin, which gives the hair shine.

Vitamin B12: Its lack can cause dryness of the hair, the appearance of grey hair or a more abundant fall.

Vitamin E: Tonifies the scalp and helps the absorption of oxygen, increasing hair renewal and growth.

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