At one point everyone suffers from dandruff outbreak regardless of age and ethnicity. This is a common skin condition and it affects areas such as the scalp, eyebrows, beard and ears. In rare cases, it also affects the central part of the chest. Dandruff affects ant region that has hair and other names for the condition include seborrhea or seborrheic dermatitis. They occur in areas that have high sebum production and while the major cause of the condition is not yet known, yeast Malassezia furfur which lives on the surface of the skin might be responsible. The skin affected feels dry and moisturizing it only makes the condition worse.
It looks like fine flaky, dry skin and has some red or pink inflamed skin areas. When dandruff is severe, it can be a frustrating condition and most people have to seek continued treatment in order to get it under control. The intensity of this condition varied from one individual to another and in most cases, it can wither be chronic or recurrent. It is not curable and while this is the case, it can be controlled through use of proper hair and skin care hygiene.
Causes of Dandruff
While the exact cause of dandruff is not known, there are a couple of factors known to trigger it and some of these include the following.
- Dry skin: During the winter, the skin tends to get dry because of the cols and overheating of rooms. This causes itchy and flaking dandruff. These however tend to be small compared to those caused by other factors. They also tend to be less oily and they appear on the arms and legs.
- Irritated and oily skin: This is widely known as the major cause of dandruff and it is marked by greasy, red skin that is covered with some yellow and flaky scales. This not only affects the scalp but any other area that has oil glands that are rich in oils like the eyebrows, back of the ears, breastbone armpits and sometimes, the groin area.
- Lack of enough shampooing: When you don’t wash your hair regularly, the skin and oil cells can also build up easily leads to dandruff outbreak.
- Psoriasis: This is a skin disorder that causes outbreak of dandruff. It causes dead skin accumulation and this forms thick and silvery scales. It affects the elbows, knees, and trunk though it can also affect the scalp.
- Eczema: When you have eczema on your body, it might also be on the scalp and this leads to dandruff development.
- Sensitivity to products: There are some hair products which can cause sensitivity thus leading to dandruff outbreak. Also, shampooing too often and using different types of styling products can also trigger irritation and cause dandruff outbreak.
- Malassezia: This is yeast fungus found on the scalps of most adults and while it does not pose any threat, when it gets out of control it can cause major problems. This is because it feeds on the oils secreted by the follicles and this irritates the scalp leading to an increased skin cell growth. The extra cells die and fall off this clumping oil from the scalp and hair and appearing as flaky and white dandruff.
Symptoms of Dandruff
The following are some of the major symptoms you need to be on the lookout for in order to determine whether you have dandruff. Bear in mind that determining this early makes it possible to get use the appropriate remedies and get the dandruff under control. The following symptoms are an indication of dandruff flare ups.
- White, dry and flaking skin
- Yellow, oily scales that adhere to the skin
- Itchy skin
- Redness swelling or warmth
- Skin liaisons
- Plaque which can be broad and raised on the surface of the skin.
Note that there are other dandruff symptoms which might be an indication of a severe case of psoriasis or seborrheic eczema. When any of these symptoms are noted, it is advisable to seek immediate medical care. These include the following.
- Eye pain
- Itchy eyes
- An increase in sensitivity to light
- Lip inflammation
- Eyelashes which grow abnormally then fall off
- Wet and oozing skin
Dandruff Home Remedies
If you have dandruff, you don’t have to despair since there are a couple of home remedies that come in handy in controlling the condition. Dandruff takes the strength of hair away and makes it weak. There are hundreds of products in the market that promise to deliver reprieve and while this is the case, you have to tread with caution. The following remedies are helpful and they do not have any side effects.
- Use lime– This is one of the most efficient remedies for dandruff. Just when you are about to complete the process of washing your hair, use one teaspoon of fresh lime juice. It helps you get rid of the dandruff as well as stickiness.
- Apply cider vinegar- At least five minutes before going to shower, apply cider vinegar to the scalp. This should be used in ample amounts to make the scalp wet. In seven to eight days, you will be able to see some major changes.
- Curd massage- In this case, you need to use curd that has been kept out in the open for a maximum 3 days. This should ne massaged into the scalp gently for thirty minutes or more then rinsed off. This plays a major role in reducing dandruff and eliminating recurring dandruff.
- Effective oils- There are effective oils like flaxseed oil, primrose oil and salmon oil which come in handy in relieving the level of itchiness and inflammation that is brought about by dandruff. When this is used on a daily basis, it leaves you with a healthier and itch free scalp.
- Coconut oil- This is a basic household commodity and it comes in handy when dealing with dandruff. In this case, you should apply the coconut oil to your scalp. Then use a brush or fingernails to scrub any dead skin away. Afterwards, take a 15 minute shower in order to get dandruff free results that are long lasting.
- Tea tree oil- This is essential for addressing dandruff problems and it comes from leaves that are known as Melaleuca alternifolia which is an Australian plant native. For years, tea tree oil has been used as an anti-fungal and anti-septic agent. There are shampoos available in food stores with this and they can also come in handy in fighting dandruff.
- Apple cider vinegar- Vinegar is one of the safest and most versatile herbal remedies for most health problems. If you are suffering from dandruff, mix a quarter a cup of apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water. Put this mixture in a spay bottle and spritz it on your scalp and hair. Cover the head in a towel and wash the hair after 15 minutes. Do this twice a week and dandruff will be a thing of the past.
- Lime juice- Lime juice is very common in most diets but not many people are away of its superb healing properties. It can be used as an effective home treatment for dandruff. When washing your hair, rinse it with a teaspoon of lime juice during the last rinse. This will not only leave the hair shining and get rid of stickiness but will also prevent the formation of dandruff.
- Beet root- Beet root has always played an integral role in the herbal treatment of many conditions. You can treat dandruff at home by massaging the scalp with different varieties of boiled beet roots. The best time to massage the scalp with beet root extracts is either in the morning or when you are just about to sleep.
- Green grams and curd- Green grams can be used as a very effective home treatment for dandruff when combined with curd. Make a paste using about 2 tablespoons of powdered green gram and half a cup of curd. If you wash your hair using this paste two times every week, it won't take long for your dandruff infection to disappear.
Diet for Dandruff
You can also change your diet in order to get rid of dandruff and in this case, you need to consider the following.
- Fresh produce: Green veggies and fruits are high in antioxidants and minerals and as such, considered an ideal way of keeping dandruff at bay. Therefore, you should ensure that your daily diet is comprised of the same.
- Fish oil: Fish oil plays a major role in influencing the overall condition of the skin and it also prevents excessive drying. It can be found in supplements for those not interested in preparing fish every night.
- Biotin: This is a natural water B vitamin soluble which is essential for breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Often, it is sold in supplement forms and found in foods. Eating foods that are rich in biotin such as milk, egg yolk, royal jelly, brewer’s yeast, barley, milk and soy can come in handy in addressing dandruff problems. Any foods that has vitamin B is also an ideal choice in this case.
- Lean proteins: People who eat loads of proteins are at a greater risk of having dandruff and as such, it is recommended that you stick to a diet that has low proteins. Lean proteins in this case include wild meat such as elk or deer, fish, non meat proteins such as eggs, nuts and beans.
Prevention of Dandruff
You can prevent dandruff outbreak and ensure that you don’t have to suffer from embarrassment caused by the condition. Some of the ways through which you can achieve this end is by doing the following.
- You should shampoo your hair regularly. This is important as it gets rid of all the excess oil that contributes to malassezia overgrowth and this gets rid of all the flakes.
- Buy a humidifier and use it during those cold winter months when the skin is exposed to dryness thus causing dandruff outbreak. By reducing the humidity level, build up of dry skin becomes more pronounced and you can correct this with a humidifier.
- Stress can also lead to dandruff build up and if you can reduce your stress levels, you can also get rid of dandruff to enjoy a healthier and good looking scalp. There are several ways of reducing stress levels such as participating in a hobby and developing some meditation and breathing techniques that calm you down.
- You can also get rid of dandruff by changing your dietary habits and in this case, you should eat foods that are rich in zinc such as beans, lobster, oysters, crab and whole grains, omega 3 fatty acids such as canola oil, kidney beans, flaxseed, and grape fruits and B vitamins such as broccoli, legumes, fish, eggs, fish, white potatoes and lean beef.
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