Dandruff is mostly a harmless yet a chronic condition that happens when the scalp becomes greasy and dry and it produces some white flakes from the dead skin which appear on shoulders and an upper layer of hair.
Though it is harmless dandruffs can be embarrassing enough. There are some symptoms of dandruff that you should be aware of. Here are some main reasons why dandruff is formed.
The skin cells that are formed continuously on the scalp of the shedding of dead skin cells os the major cause behind dandruff formation. Oil from the scalp causes the skin cells to clump together and appear as white flakes. Dandruff can also happen from other things like sensitivity from hair products, dermatitis on the scalp and eczema. The overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus can also cause dandruff. This overgrowth can be caused by stress, hormones, too much oil on the scalp, or problems with the immune system.
The symptoms of dandruff include white flakes of dead skin in the hair and on the shoulders, as well as an itchy, red, or scaly scalp. Dandruff flakes are usually scattered throughout the scalp. if it is sebhorreic dermatitis then the symptoms appear gradually. The scalp becomes dry or greasy, is red, and feels itchy. As skin cells die, they turn to yellowish scales. A worst case of seborrhoea dermatitis can also cause symptoms in other parts of the body. Yellowish or reddish scaling can appear on the hairline, in and around the ears, or on the nose and chest. Newborn babies can also get affected by it. They may get some yellowish, thick and crusty rash on the scalp which is known as cradle cap.
Treatment and Prevention
Dandruff can occur as a chronic condition but it can also be controlled if proper treatment is done. One needs to try shampooing with an anti-dandruff shampoo by massaging the scalp firmly and then rinsing it well. This frequent habit of shampooing can reduce oiliness and it also prevents the build-up of dead skin cells. If this does not help then one needs to go for a medicated shampoo or a ketomac anti dandruff shampoo. Some of them are used on a daily basis while the others needed to be used only once or twice weekly. When selecting an over the counter shampoo, one needs to look for anti-dandruff ingredients such as ketoconazole, selenium sulphide, salicylic acid, sulphur, coal tar, or zinc pyrithione.
But these shampoos can be used only after consulting a proper dermatologist. A doctor may also prescribe a corticosteroid lotion be applied to the scalp. Never use corticosteroids for a long period of time without advice from a doctor. They can thin out the skin and cause other side effects.
In case of a baby, cradle crap one needs to apply a very small amount of mineral oil to the dry areas of the scalp to soften the scales. Then remove the scales by gently brushing them off. One can also wash them with a mild baby shampoo.