Dandruff is an itchy scalp skin condition characterized by the appearance of white flakes indicating that the skin of the scalp is peeling off or undergoing the process of normal skin exfoliation. It is neither contagious nor a serious medical concern. Rather, it is a harmless condition but it can be embarrassing and difficult to manage for most people. In this blog, the best dermatologist in Bangalore, Dr. Rasya Dixit shares some amazing tips to manage dandruff.
Dr. Dixit says that dandruff can appear at any point in an individual's life but it is more common from the teenage years to midlife. It could be due to the dryness of the scalp or due to excessive production of oil on the scalp. There are various other possible causes including:
- Seborrheic dermatitis i.e. the overgrowth of Malassezia (a yeast-like fungus) which feeds on the natural scalp oil of most adults.
- Contact dermatitis i.e. allergic reactions due to sensitivity to some hair care products.
- Other skin concerns like psoriasis and eczema.
If the person does not shampoo at frequent intervals or brush it often, it can result in the gathering of dandruff on the scalp. The problem arises when the amount of dandruff becomes a mess. There are two reasons for this: too much production of dry scales due to inflammatory diseases of the scalp or ineffective removal of visible flakes because of inadequate scalp hygiene efforts.
If dandruff and itching are severe and persistent, it's best to see a skin doctor or dermatologist. For mild dandruff without a specific cause, various over-the-counter products can help manage flaking and itchiness. One can visit Dr. Dixit Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic, the best skin clinic in Bangalore to get effective treatment for dandruff. After careful examination of the scalp, Dr. Rasya Dixit will guide the patient about the measures and treatments required to achieve a healthy scalp.
The best ways to control dandruff:
1. Wash the scalp regularly
The first and foremost thing a person can do is to wash their hair every day or every other day with an anti-dandruff shampoo. Maintaining basic hygiene can be very helpful to reduce dandruff.
2. Use prescribed medicated shampoos
These shampoos contain different active ingredients for controlling symptoms initially one to three times a week. Then de-escalate to once a week or less frequently for maintenance and prevention. For best results, always follow the instructions at the back label of the dandruff shampoo bottle. Some anti-fungal solutions, creams, gels, or shampoos need to be left on the scalp for a few minutes whereas others should be rinsed off quickly. Look for the ingredients on the label such as:
- Salicylic acid which can help eliminate scaling of the skin;
- Ket-ocon-azole which is an anti-fungal, intended to kill dandruff-causing fungi that live on the scalp;
- Sulfur shampoo which contains an anti-fungal agent. Use these products as directed by the doctor and rinse well after shampooing as they can discolor the hair and scalp;
- Coal tar which works by slowing down the process of skin flaking off. If the candidate has light-colored hair, this type of shampoo may cause discoloration. It can also make the scalp more sensitive to sunlight;
- Zinc pyri-thione which is an antibacterial and antifungal agent.
The ingredients mentioned above are effective to eliminate dandruff, but can sometimes feel a bit stripping if the scalp/hair needs extra moisture. Especially for those with dry, coarse, curly, or coiled hair types, should look for ingredients that will also hydrate the scalp and strands like shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera. Gently massage a small amount of the regular or medicated shampoos onto the scalp and do not scrub. Leave it for 5-10 minutes and then rinse it with water thoroughly. If there are any leftover ingredients of the shampoo, it may irritate the skin. The application of a regular conditioner might wipe away the active ingredients known to mitigate dandruff. So, consulting a dermatologist to know which product can be the most suitable one for an individual is the best approach.
3. If using one dandruff shampoo does not bring relief, try switching between shampoos containing different active ingredients. Opt for moisturizer-based medicated shampoo or use anti-dandruff shampoo with a regular moisturizing to avoid getting a dry scalp. Sometimes even the best antidandruff shampoo won’t get rid of stubborn dandruff. In such a case, a dermatologist might prescribe a steroid cream, lotion, or solution that the candidate rubs onto the affected area once or twice daily. The candidate may also need an anti-fungal medicine that is taken orally or applied to the scalp or skin to get rid of the yeast-like fungus.
These tips can help one to manage dandruff and achieve a healthy scalp. In case one is suffering from an extreme case of dandruff they can consult the expert dermatologist in Bangalore, Dr. Rasya Dixit at Dr. Dixit Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic. At the clinic, advanced treatments are offered to manage dandruff and scalp issues. To know more schedule an appointment today!