Trying to get rid of stubborn dandruff can be stressful and annoying. In order to prevent and treat it properly, it’s helpful to understand what dandruff actually is and what causes it. Once you’ve determined the cause, you can begin to prevent it from getting out of control through effective treatment.
What is dandruff?
Dandruff is not curable, but it can be managed. To avoid flare-ups, you can take preventative measures. One of the root causes of dandruff is too much oil on the scalp. Shedding skin cells get trapped in this oil and can build up, forming the white flakes of dandruff.
It can also be caused by a fungus, called Malassezia, which many individuals have on their skin naturally, but dandruff is caused by an excess or imbalance of the fungus. Overgrowth of Malassezia can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, hormones and stress. The combination of oil and Malassezia causes dandruff.
Treatment for dandruff
As a first treatment option, wash your hair with shampoo that has pyrithione zinc. This ingredient kills the Malassezia fungi that commonly cause dandruff. Wash your hair with this shampoo every day for at least two weeks to determine its efficacy. If it doesn’t work, you may want to try shampoos that contain other dandruff-fighting ingredients, like salicylic acid, coal tar, sulfur, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole.
Once you’ve found a shampoo that works for you, you may want to add a corticosteroid or antifungal cream to your regimen. For more natural and do-it-yourself remedies, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, aloe vera, coconut oil and tea tree oil all have proven anti-fungal properties that may aid in treating dandruff.
Having an oily scalp only exacerbates dandruff, so it is important to wash your hair frequently and cut down on hair styling products. If you have to use them, it is essential to wash them out of your hair before bed. After washing your hair, make sure to rinse it properly and dry it completely. Pockets of prolonged moisture on your scalp can also lead to flaking and scabbing.
Stress has a significant impact on your entire health and may possibly contribute to the development of dandruff or exacerbate current symptoms. It can be beneficial to make sure to get enough sleep and exercise. Seek out other techniques and activities that generally assist in managing stress levels.
In terms of nutrition, eating a healthy diet that is high in vitamin B, omega-3 and zinc can also assist in preventing dandruff. You may also want to consider taking a probiotic. A few minutes of sun exposure every day can also help to reduce dandruff-causing fungi.
If you’ve tried at-home treatments and they aren’t working, then you may need to consult with a dermatologist for diagnosis and professional treatment. These tips should help you to manage and treat dandruff, but there is no substitute for professional guidance and help.
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