Monday, December 20, 2010

Dandruff - Some Facts

Dandruff, also known as scurf or Pityriasis simplex capillitii, is a kind of skin disorder that affects the scalp. Dandruff is a condition in which white, dry flakes of dead skin are shed from the scalp.Dandruff can also occur if the scalp is frequently exposed to extreme temperatures.

Dandruff rarely causes hair loss or baldness. 
However, severe seborrheic dermatitis may cause patchy baldness.

Dandruff can be chronical (long-term) or the result of certain triggers. People with dandruff may also experience irritation and redness on the scalp.

Excessive flaking may be caused by an underlying illness or condition, such as psoriasis, a fungal infection (Malassezia), seborrheic dermatitis, or even head lice. 

Dandruff is more common in men than in women, and in people with oily skin. 

Some studies have suggested that diets that are too salty, sugary or spicy and accompanied by excessive alcohol may exacerbate dandruff. 

Signs and Symptoms:
1. There are white flakes of skin on the scalp, and in the person's hair.
2. Flakes may be oily looking. 
3. Head may feel tight and itchy. 
4. Head may feel tingly. 
5. Head may feel sore.
6. Red, flaky, greasy patches of skin ( Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp in adults.).
7. Crusting and scaling rash on scalp (babies with Seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap).

The exact cause of dandruff, is unknown. 

1. Not enough hair brushing - People who do not comb/brush their hair regularly have a slightly higher risk of having dandruff - this is because they are not aiding the shedding of skin that combing/brushing provides. 

2. Yeast - People who are sensitive to yeast have a slightly higher risk of having dandruff, so it is logical to assume that yeast may play a part. Yeast-sensitive people who get dandruff find that it gets better during the warmer months and worse during the winter. UVA light from the sun counteracts the yeast. Some say, though, that during winter the skin is drier because of cold air and overheated rooms (exposure to extreme temperatures), making dandruff more likely. So, it is sometimes not that easy to know whether it is yeast or just dry skin. 

3. Dry skin - people with dry skin tend to get dandruff more often. Winter cold air, combined with overheated rooms is a common cause of itchy, flaking skin. People with dandruff caused by dry skin tend to have small flakes of dandruff; the flakes are not oily. 

4. Seborrheic dermatitis (irritated, oily skin) - People with seborrheic dermatitis are very prone to dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis affects many areas of the skin, including the backs of the ears, the breastbone, eyebrows, and the sides of the nose, not just the scalp. The patient will have red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. 

5. Certain skin conditions - People with psoriasis, eczema and some other skin disorders tend to get dandruff much more frequently than other people. 

6. Some illnesses - Adults with Parkinson's disease and some other neurological illnesses are more prone to having dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Patients recovering from heart attacks and strokes, and some people with weak immune systems may have dandruff more often than other people. 

7. Reaction to hair/skin care products - Some people react to some hair care products with a red, itchy, scaling scalp. Many experts say that shampooing too often may cause dandruff as it can irritate the scalp. 

8. Malassezia - Malassezia is a fungus that lives on everybody's scalp. Generally, it will cause no problems at all. However, it can grow out of control. It feeds on the oils our hair follicles secrete. When this happens the scalp can become irritated and produces extra skin cells. These extra skin cells die and fall off; they mix with the oil from the hair and scalp, and turn into what we see as dandruff. 

9. Diet - Some experts say that people who do not consume enough foods that contain zinc, B vitamins, and some types of fats are more prone to dandruff. 

10. Mental stress - Experts believe there is a link between stress and many skin problems. 

11. HIV - A study found that 10.6% of people with HIV have seborrheic dermatitis.

Do's and Dont's :
Unhealthy food habit, excess intake of junk and oily food is also responsible for causing dandruff. Tea, coffee, and other beverages are also a big no for people suffering from dandruff. 

Similarly, meat, sugar, chocolates also should be avoided. 

Follow a balanced diet chart that includes green vegetables, grams, cereals, fruits, etc. 

Drink lots of water and fresh fruit juice.
Keep your hair clean, do not use shampoo with strong artificial fragrance.
Comb your hair daily, this will keep the blood circulation normal inside the scalp. 

Prevent scalp from becoming oily and dirty. 

Massage the scalp with oils using your finger tips, by moving the fingers in a circular motion all over the scalp. 

Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Dandruff : 
1. Massage scalp with a mixture made of equal quantities of lime juice and vinegar. Wash hair with egg shampoo after this.

2. Fenugreek is very effective in preventing dandruff, hair fall and baldness. Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight and grind it into a fine paste the following morning. Leave this paste applied on the scalp for 30 to 45 minutes and then wash it.

3. Boil neem leaves in water and use this water to rinse hair.

4. Massage scalp with warm coconut for half an hour atleast twice a week.

5. Make a paste by Tulsi leaves and Amla powder mixed with water. Massage this paste on the scalp and let it remain for half to one hour. Wash the hair with water.

6. Egg shampoo can be prepared by beating 2 or 3 eggs with a little water in it. Apply this mixture on the hair after wetting the hair and massage the scalp for sometime. Let this remain on the hair for sometime before washing it off with water. This treatment is very effective in preventing dandruff.

7. Tea tree oil is found to be an effective medicine against dandruff. Into some hot water, mix 1 teaspoon tea tree oil and massage your scalp with this. Wash your hair with lemon water followed by pure water. After washing, wrap a hot moist towel around your head for some time. The best time to do this is at night before going to bed.

There are certain precautions that should be taken by a person suffering from dandruff. Following these simple things could avoid contagion of dandruff.

1. Avoid using combs used by other people. Especially, when a person is suffering dandruff, never use his/her comb. Dandruff is highly cantagious.

2. Pay attention to the cleanliness of your hair.You take care of your hair and maintain it clean and healthy. It can keep away dandruff to a great extend.

3. Do not allow your hair to remain wet for a long time. Leaving the scalp wet for a long time facilitates growth of dandruff.

Classical Preparations :
01. Neeli keram
02. Durdhoora Pathraadhi coconut oil
03. Thriphaladhi coconut oil
04. Eladhi coconut oil
05. Durvaadhi coconut oil
06. Chemparuthyaadhi coconut oil
07. Chyavanapraasha rasayan

Some Common Remedies :
1. ചെറുപയര്‍ പൊടിച്ചു തൈരില്‍ കലക്കി തലയില്‍ തേച്ചു കഴുകുക.
2. തുളസി ഇല, വെറ്റില, തെച്ചി പൂവ് എന്നിവ ചതച്ച് വെളിച്ചെണ്ണയില്‍ കാച്ചി തേക്കുക.
3. ഉമ്മത്തിന്‍ ഇല നീര് വെളിച്ചെണ്ണയില്‍  ഒഴിച്ച് കാച്ചി തേക്കുക.
4. വേപ്പില ഇട്ടു തിളപ്പിച്ചാറിയ വെള്ളത്തില്‍ തല കഴുകുക.
5. തേങ്ങാ പാലില്‍ ചെറുനാരങ്ങ നീര് ചേര്‍ത്ത് തലയില്‍ പുരട്ടുക.

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