Dandruff (also called scurf and historically termed Pityriasis capitis) is due to the excessive shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. As it is normal for skin cells to die and flake off, a small amount of flaking is normal and in fact quite common. Dandruff can happen at any age but is most commonly found in people between the ages of 12 and 80. (A form of dandruff known as cradle cap occurs in newborns and infants).
It appears to be caused by a yeast-like fungus called malassezia, also known as pityrosporum. Malassezia is normally found on the scalp without causing problems, however, if it grows unchecked (possibly due to hormone imbalances, stress, immune suppression, infrequent shampooing, illness, or increased oil production), there is mild inflammation that produces dead skin cells. The good news is that dandruff can usually be controlled. Mild cases of dandruff may need nothing more than daily shampooing with a gentle cleanser.
Causes of dandruff
The main causes of dandruff are impairment of general health, development of a toxic condition mainly due to taking of wrong foods, constipation, and a low vitality due to infectious diseases. Hormones may also be involved, because dandruff usually starts after puberty and is more common in men than women. For unknown reasons, people with some illnesses, such as Parkinson's disease, are more likely to have dandruff.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of dandruff include white, oily-looking flakes of dead skin in your hair and on your shoulders and an itchy, scaling scalp. Your scalp can be either excessively dry or oily.
Dandruff Home remedies Tips
1. Make a mixture of 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 6 teaspoons of water and apply it on the scalp before you go to bed. Keep it for the whole night with a towel around the head. Rinse your head with vinegar water again in the morning.
2. Mix some olive oil and almond oil and massage into your scalp. Leave for 5 minutes then rinse.
3. Nizoral Shampoo anti-fungal/anti-dandruff shampoo containing active ingredient Ketoconazole.
4. Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Oil) have been reported as useful in the treatment of dandruff.
5. Ginger Combine olive oil and ginger root and apply to your scalp before shampooing. If your dandruff is really bad, put the mixture on 10-15 minutes before shampooing.
When to see your doctor
You should certainly see your family doctor if your scalp is red and itchy - or if the skin is flaky around the eyebrows, round the nose or behind the ears - because this suggests you have the more severe form called seborrhoeic dermatitis (seborrhoeic eczema). You should also see your doctor if the dandruff is very lumpy or patchy, or if you have scaly skin elsewhere, because it could be a skin disorder, such as psoriasis.