Do you suffer from a serious case of dandruff, even to the point that you alter the colors you dress in so that it doesn’t appear so evident? Dandruff is a chronic scalp condition which invokes the itching and flaking of the skin on your scalp. Although dandruff is not contagious and has no real medical side effects it can be an embarrassing condition to live with and treat.
A form of dandruff commonly found in babies under the age of 1 year is called cradle cap. It causes scaly, crusty patches to form in the infants head. This condition is not contagious either, and although unsightly it normally has cleared up completely within the first year.
In most situations it does not require the attention of a physician to treat dandruff. There are numerous dandruff shampoos on the market available over the counter which will rectify most conditions. If you continue to experience a dry, and itchy scalp after use of over the counter products and your scalp remains irritated and swollen it is now time to consult your physician or deltiologist. There is a condition that resembles the effects of dandruff called seborrhea dermatitis. Most physicians will be able to distinguish between the two by simple observation.
Causes of dandruff
The common causes of dandruff included dry skin, oily or irritated skin, not shampooing ones hair on a regular enough basis, psoriasis, eczema, sensitivity to some hair products, and malassezia an yeast-like fungus.
Almost everyone will have a degree of dandruff at sometime or another in their life but factors such as age, sex, diet, sickness, and an oily scalp can help to facilitate matters.
Dandruff can easily be controlled in most cases with a little persistence and the right products. In most cases a gentle cleansing of the scalp everyday will help to reduce the skin sell buildup. If a regular gentle shampooing product does not rectify the situation for you, a product created to specifically treat dandruff will be appropriate. What many people don’t understand is that all dandruff shampooing products are not the same. The active ingredient in each product is not the same and some will work better on different types conditions of dandruff. Products containing zinc pyrothirone work to reduce the fungus on ones scalp that causes the itching and flaking. Tar-based products help slow down the process in which skin cells on the scalp die and flake off. Products containing salicylic acid help to scrub the scalp clean and eliminate the scale, but often leave the scalp dry which leads to more flaking. A good conditioner will need to be applied after shampooing with products containing salicylic acid. Products that contain selenium sulfide aid in slowing down the process in which skin cells die, but it will discolor grey and other color treated hair so it must be rinsed out thoroughly. Ketoconozone is an ingredient found in some dandruff treatment products that works when other attempts have failed. It contains a broad spectrum antifungal agent and is available over the counter and in prescription form.
With consistent use of dandruff eliminating products one should see results within a few days. If over a period of time one product appears to lose its effectiveness try alternating between products with different active ingredients to obtain your desired result.