If your scalp itches and you can’t help yourself from scratching it? And when you do, flakes like that from a biscuit falls to your shoulder? You may be having a fungal infection commonly called as dandruff.
What is Dandruff
Dandruff, scientifically termed as pityriasis capitis, is caused by a fungus called Pityrosporum ovale or Malassezia furfur. These fungi make the scalp dry, which causes the formation of scales and flakes. Though scalpï¿½s skin normally flakes off due to regeneration of skin cells, dandruff is excessive flaking and it is abnormal. Other people consider dandruff as an allergy resulting from a trigger like food and excessive sweating.
Though dandruff is usually associated with hair loss, this physical phenomenon does not actually cause hair loss. However, since the scalp is dry, it prevents the hair follicles to stay fit into the scalp. Dandruff is experienced by people regardless of age and race without proper scalp treatment.
Factors that Causes Dandruff
Study showed that there are three factors that may cause excessive flaking in the scalp. The natural oil that is present in our skin called sebum or sebaceous contributes to this ailment. Secondly, the fungus as described above and third, individual susceptibility to internal and external causes. These fungi are known to have always been present in the scalp.
Internal causes of dandruff include hormonal imbalances. In some women, dandruff occurs during the period of menstruation because of some hormonal imbalances in the body which cause the scalp to produce more oil. Poor hygiene, lack of rest and emotional stress are also known internal factors of dandruff. On the other hand, external factors like excessive use of gel and hair products, infrequent shampooing and rinsing of the scalp and hair, cold weather and dry indoor heating and stress may also be the causes of dandruff.
Dandruff is itchy and embarrassing disorder. It is also annoying because as soon as it is not properly treated, it is persistent and comes back again and again. As long as you have dandruff, you will have an unease feeling when wearing your most elegant black dress or shirt because of the fear that anytime, those embarrassing flakes may fall off from your head.
Proper shampooing and using the right shampoo is the usual and easiest treatment of dandruff. Most shampoos help in removing flakes but it would be more beneficial when the fungus are shed away from your head. When the fungi are killed, most likely, the dandruff will not occur again with continuous treatment. There are shampoos that offer active ingredients that help prevent and remove dandruff. Some of these substances that are present in anti-dandruff shampoos are the following: zinc pyrithione, ketaconazole, selenium sulphide, Tea tree oil, tar and piroctone olamine.
At some cases, especially when the dandruff is severe, consultation to experts or dermatologist is needed. These people can gauge the damage in your scalp and can prescribe the best treatment.
Some expert, moreover, said that diet also plays a big role in preventing the occurrence of dandruff in many individuals. Eating food rich in vitamin B controls dandruff because it counteracts inefficient carbohydrates and fatty metabolism. Examples of such foods are eggs and cabbage. These two also gives the body some amount of sulfur, which is considered as the mineral for a healthy scalp. However, if eggs cause some skin allergies, it should be minimized but should be replaced by other food rich in vitamin B6. Avoid hair products that contain alcohol like gels and hair sprays. They are known to be one of the major causes of dry scalp.
Understanding the causes and treatments for dandruff is useful since this is a global disorder and anyone can experience it. Do yourself a favor and be confident with whatever you wear without the worry that scales and flakes called dandruff will embarrass you in front of other people.
Dr John Anne is a herbal specialist with years of experience in the field of Alternative Health Care.
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