Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition marked by flaking of the skin on your scalp.
Normal skin regularly sheds old skin cells. These old dead cells usually go unnoticed, as there are very few of them at any one time. Dandruff flakes are caused by an increased turnover rate of skin cells on the scalp. Dead skin cells are shed from the scalp in much larger numbers and as they are shed, these dead skin cells clump together with oil from the hair and scalp, making them visible. Dandruff can happen to anyone at any age, but is not common in children. It tends to be seasonal and is usually most severe during winter and mildest during the summer.
Signs and symptoms
White, oily skin flakes or scales on the scalp, trapped in the hair and caught on clothing. Dandruff flakes can also occur on the eyebrows, in the beard and on the neck and shoulders. The scaling skin can be itchy
The exact cause of the increased rate of skin turnover in dandruff is unknown. However, it is thought to be linked to the overgrowth of a tiny fungus (yeast) present on the scalp. This fungus lives on most people’s scalps all the time, usually without causing any problems. Sometimes, however, it seems to grow out of control and irritates the skin, causing dandruff. It is not known what causes the overgrowth of this fungus.
Things that may contribute to the development of dandruff include:
- Oily hair and scalp
- Infrequent and excessive shampooing, poor rinsing of the hair
- Allergy or hypersensitivity
- Some medical conditions (e.g., Parkinson’s disease)
- A weakened immune system
Is it dandruff?
A flaking scalp can be due to dandruff or may be a sign of a different skin disorder.
Other skin disorders that can cause a scaling and flaking scalp include:
Dry skin – can cause an itchy, dry and flaky scalp. Flakes are usually smaller and less oily than dandruff.
Contact dermatitis– can cause a red, itchy, flaking scalp. It may be triggered by sensitivity to hair–care products.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis – can cause red, greasy skin covered with flaky, white or yellow scales. The scalp and other skin areas rich in oil glands are usually affected — e.g., eyebrows, nose, behind ears, chest, groin. Dandruff is a mild form of seborrhoeic dermatitis.
Psoriasis – causes accumulation of dead skin cells that form thick, silvery scales. Psoriasis commonly occurs on the knees, elbows and trunk, but can also affect the scalp.
Tinea of the scalp – a fungal infection causing patches of scaling and hair loss.
Cradle cap – the yellow scaling and crusting on the scalp of some newborn babies and infants.
Preventions and Precautions of dandruff
Balanced and nourishing diet prevents the condition.
Brush and comb should be clean on regular basis.
Regular wash and combing prevent dandruff.
Cleanliness of combs should be given utmost importance.
Clean your scalp regularly to avoid a layer of dead cells.
Washing hair with strong shampoo should be avoided.
Fried, Junk and heavy fatty food should be avoided.
Balanced and nourishing diet is preferred.
Give more weightage to fruits and vegetables.
Dandruff is reduced with low GI diet
Dandruff is difficult to prevent in case of dominancy of Skin Yeast , increased sebaceous gland production and hormonal disorders
Excessive Stress deteriorates the condition of dandruff.
Adequate sunlight is essential.
Avoid hair sprays, gels, and irritating shampoo or soaps.
Ayurvedic management(treatments) of dandruff
With help of Ayurveda, we can give a good result in dandruff with the help of some daily regimens (Dincharya Upakarma) like nasal therapy (Nasya) and massage Abhyanga for reducing symptoms of dandruff and also helps in prevention. Lots of ayurvedic herbs are available that can be used as ayurvedic medicines for dandruff treatments and remedies.
Kottakkal Ayurveda provides you special effective natural treatments for dandruff. The treatments will be planned according to the cause and nature of the condition. The generally provided treatments are
1.Siro-Abhyangam: Head massage with special antifungal and lubricating oils over the scalp
2.Siro-lepam: Most effective Special proven head pack application is done as a 7-10 day course depending upon the severity of the case
3.Siro-pichu: Special oil holding over the scalp
4.Sirodhara: Another treatment found to be effective
5.Nasyam: Found to be effective for severe cases