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Dandruff is the cause of many days of bad hair. If you have it, you probably want to get rid of it quickly.
However, before you can think about how to get rid of dandruff, you should make sure that what you have is dandruff and not something else. There are other conditions that can cause similar symptoms of an itchy, dry scalp.
What is dandruff?
People often do not understand exactly what dandruff really is. It's not just "dry scalp," although peeling and itching may be similar to what you would experience if you simply have dry skin on your scalp. But the technical explanation of dandruff may surprise you. "Dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis, is an inflammatory skin disease that contains sebaceous and fatty glands such as the scalp," says Adam Friedman, MD, professor of dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. "Inflammation in the skin of the scalp drives skin turnover too quickly, resulting in additional and retained flaky skin that cannot be kicked into the sidewalk fast enough."
Other conditions that can cause dry scalp
A type of psoriasis that generally creates a type of thick and crusty residue on the scalp. Treatment usually requires a prescription medication.
Ringworm of the head
A kind of ringworm that affects the scalp. Oral antifungal medications are the most common treatment.
While some of the same remedies that you could use for dandruff can help reduce some of the scaling you experience with these conditions, you will need medications to cure or treat them effectively.
Why should you consult your dermatologist?
The first step in trying to get rid of dandruff is to see your dermatologist. You can confirm that, in fact, you have dandruff, unlike sebopsoriasis, ringworm of the head or something else. Once a diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis is made, your doctor can provide you with a prescription medication, which is often the first step in bringing dandruff to a manageable point. "This condition is very sensitive to topical steroids, usually showing remarkable results in a matter of days," says Friedman.
Related: these are the best ways to fight the sweat of stress, according to doctors
A common mistake in the treatment of dandruff.
When trying to treat your dandruff, many people make a critical mistake that can end up making the problem worse. "Many do not wash their hair frequently for fear of" drying it out "even more," says Friedman. "By not washing your scalp sufficiently, these dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria accumulate in the scalp creating even more inflammation and worsening of the disease. In addition, seborrheic dermatitis can cause the fall and loss of the hair, which perpetuates this myth even more, since those who suffer think that washing their hair / scalp will cause hair to fall out faster. It is a downward spiral from there. "
The best treatments for dandruff
the American Academy of Dermatology He points out that for many adults with seborrheic dermatitis, this can be a chronic condition, possibly for life, which tends to be recurrent. Even so, even for those who may never be completely "cured," there are effective treatments that can help control symptoms.
The AAD says that many adults see the best results with a treatment regimen that includes some combination of anti-dandruff shampoos, topical medications and a barrier repair cream.
Everyone's skin is unique, so there is no anti-dandruff shampoo that works well for everyone. A good place to start is with shampoos that contain zinc pyrithione, which fights fungi and bacteria, which makes it a good weapon against dandruff and other scalp conditions. The ADF recommends experimenting with different brands to find the best anti-dandruff shampoo for your particular situation.
Natural and DIY treatments for dandruff.
Dandruff victims who distrust chemicals often opt for the natural or DIY route in the treatment of the scalp. A popular option is a remedy that uses a combination of essential oils. Studies have shown that tea tree oil It can be effective in reducing inflammation of the skin. Other common home remedies for dandruff include coconut oil and aloe vera. While they may not cure the condition itself, these substances have calming properties that can relieve some of the discomfort that a dry and flaky scalp can cause.
Related: DIY anti-dandruff treatment with apple cider vinegar
Note: dermatologists warn that attempts to cure dandruff with home remedies or DIY concoctions can often be counterproductive, since certain substances (even natural ones) can irritate the scalp and make the problem worse. If you are going to try a remedy for DIY dandruff, it is best to limit your treatments to one ingredient at a time and be aware of any signs of irritation or worsening of symptoms.
Consider your surroundings
Friedman notes that chronic seborrheic dermatitis can be triggered by lifestyle factors. The condition will often get worse or worse if you are stressed or sick, are not eating well, or are getting little sleep. Following the standard recommendations for a healthy lifestyle can also keep the scalp in good shape.
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. (tagsToTranslate) Dandruff (t) Dandruff treatment (t) DIY dandruff treatment