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Dandruff is a common scalp/hair condition which is characterized by small, flaky, dead skin cells in the hair which causes itchiness and hair loss Dandruff is a very common and a chronic scalp infection, which everyone experiences at some point or the other in their life. In most cases it is not serious or contagious. This condition can be difficult to treat. It is not associated with hygiene, however, washing, cleaning and combing the hair can help eliminate old skin flakes.

Causes

The common causes of dandruff are: -Seborrheic dermatitis Any individual with seborrheic dermatitis has irritated, inflamed & oily skin, and is prone to have dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis concerns various areas of the skin like the back of the ears, eyebrows, forehead and both sides of the nose. The surface of the affected skin is red, swollen, oily, and covered with white or yellow flakes. Malassezia is fungus living on the scalp that absorbs oil secreted by the hair follicles and is closely associated with Seborrheic dermatitis. -Poor hair care Combing the hair regularly with a wide tooth brush is extremely important & reduces the chance of dandruff. It helps in the regular shedding of the skin for healthy hair. -Yeast Infections Yeast can worsen the situation of an individual as it increases the risk of dandruff. A person is likely to have more dandruff during winter than in summer. This happens because of the excessive dryness of the scalp in winters, and the ultraviolet light from the sun which prevents the yeast growth in summers. -Hair and skin care products There are various skin care products which may not be suitable for a particular individual and may lead to an inflammatory, red, flaking scalp. Sometimes shampooing more frequently can increase dandruff as it makes the scalp itchy. -Certain skin conditions Conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema etc make people more prone to dandruff than others. Also, a fungal infection known as Tinea capitis can trigger conditions causing dandruff.

Other common causes of Dandruff

-Oily skin -Dry skin -Diet -Mental stress -Age -Exposure to chemical ingredients -Poor hair hygiene

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Symptoms

-Itchiness -White flakes -Dry hair -Scalp irritation -Excessive hair fall

Treatment

Dandruff can be controlled with topical and oral medications which are topical or ingestional in nature. Home remedies help in relieving some symptoms of dandruff. It is also important to choose hair products with the right ingredients and minimize exposure to environmental toxins. It is recommended to take a head bath every alternate day in order to retain the natural essential oils on the scalp.

Other medical & therapeutic remedies are:

While most of the dandruff treatments help to reduce & control dandruff, it can be a process of trial and error until a suitable treatment option is found. Shampooing hair regularly might help to eliminate any cell buildup and decrease oiliness from the scalp. This can help people with moderate dandruff. A lot of trial and error has to be done before the person finds the right & suitable treatment for themselves.

The are various shampoos that can be used as per the recommendation of a trichologist are-

-Pyrithione zinc shampoos Tar-based shampoos -Shampoos containing salicylic acid -Selenium sulfide shampoos -Ketoconazole shampoos

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