By Deepali Bhardwaj
Dandruff is a very common problem these days in more the 50% of our population in cities. To get rid of it completely, we need to understand what exactly dandruff is, how it occurs and its cure. Dandruff in medical terms is called Seborrhoeic dermatitis, caused due to the irritation. This irritation is caused by a yeast called Malassezia globosa, present on everyone’s scalp, breaks down the sebum or the oil naturally present on the scalp more than usual. There are various types of Seborrhoeic dermatitis like Papular, Acneform, Pustular, Invisible, Rosaceous, etc.
Symptoms of dandruff: The easiest way to spot dandruff is flakes appearing on your shoulders. But, there are other signs too including itching, redness and dry scalp, pimples on scalp, and often pimples on upper forehead, feel oily scalp within a few hours of shampooing, which could indicate invisible dandruff. Its presence can also worsen PCOS Acne on face or Rosacea for the ones who suffer from both or either. Also, dandruff can lead to acne and similar manifestations on upper shoulders and on the entire back especially on those with slightly long hair.
Causes of Dandruff: The root cause of dandruff is always the same. There are certain factors that can exacerbate a problem or make it seem worse. These include seasonal factors in summer and winter, external irritants like pollution and damage caused by our own actions such as too much heat-styling the hair and even oiling hair, which can all lead to the proliferation of the already existing but not visible yeast infestation on the scalp. Also, it is more often seen in people with oily scalp, individuals who don’t maintain hygiene and shampoo irregularly; but also more seen in immune-compromised individuals, diabetics, people on steroids for asthma or any other disease, etc.
Home Remedies for Curing Dandruff Naturally:
- Use Apple cider vinegar along with lemon juice, apply this twice a week before shampooing in equal proportions and keep for 30-45 minutes followed by a medicated shampoo.
- Use proper medicated shampoo, if possible do it daily as there is no harm.
- Pour 4-5 drops of Savlon which is a trade name and content Cetrimide mainly in 1:5 ratio with water and wash it after an hour with a shampoo. Apply with a cotton ball on the scalp.
Medical Treatments: In practice, I generally recommend oral Itraconazole in varied doses depending on age and sex and severity of Seborrhoea manifestation also fluconazole and ketoconazole orally but these dosages have to be adjusted only when the patient is examined in reality and should only be prescribed by a trained Dermatologist.
Also, topical use of Zinc Pyrithone and ketoconazole lotions and other antifungal lotions is my choice besides the home remedies.
Immunomodulators help in increasing exfoliation of scalp skin along with vitamin A and hence the keratinization process is speeded up so as to make the yeast exfoliate from the scalp.
About Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj: Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj is a renowned Dermatologist from the heart of South Delhi.