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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

Dandruff: Causes, Prevention and Cure

There is nothing unusual about dandruff, but on a lawyer's black attire the white flakes do become unusually prominent, and could be cause of major embarrassment in certain situations. After all, lawyers are a jovial lot and if you had good time at the expense of some of your colleagues, they might think of returning the favour, having spotted the 'dandruff white' on your 'lawyerly black'.

In order to get rid of dandruff, it is important to understand what causes it in the first place because it is not some kind of an unpreventable or unforeseeable disease. It just takes precautions to keep it at bay, and even when dandruff occurs, it is a good approach to target the cause because it is how the problem of dandruff can be most effectively remedied.

One of the primary causes of dandruff is Seborrheic Dermatitis. If you notice scaly flakes and sense an abundance of grease on the skin, it is likely that the cause of your dandruff is Seborrheic Dermatitis. It is a kind of fungus that finds home on human skin and draws nourishment from skin oils. Regularly washing hair with effective shampoo could reduce the chances of your developing dandruff due to this fungus.

Scalp Psoriasis can be another reason for your dandruff. However, it is not confined to scalp, but affects other parts of the body. The commonest of its forms is Psoriasis Vulgaris with around 80% of the patients of Psoriasis suffering from psoriasis vulgaris. The condition can occur in varying degrees much like any other skin condition and is characterized by red lesions on the skin with a silvery, flaky skin layer. It causes the dead skin flakes to come on your clothes just like dandruff does. Generally, psoriasis vulgaris occurs on the knees and elbows. So, if you face dandruff issues and also have legions on your knees or elbows, it is quite possible that psoriasis vulgaris is the real cause of your dandruff.

Dry skin is also considered to be one of the major causes of dandruff. It is, therefore, advisable that you make minimal use of the dryer and get yourself a good hair conditioner. Dryness of skin can aggravate in both dry climates and winter conditions. So, one must be extra careful during winters and when dry weather sets in.

There can also be some other cause for dandruff like stress and the use of hairbrush belonging to someone who is suffering from dandruff. However, whether or not dandruff is contagious is yet to be conclusively established. But then, it is better to be extra cautious. Poor scalp hygiene can also be a reason. So, when you shampoo your hair, make sure that you apply it to the scalp, leave it that way for a while and rinse it well.

Diet can be another cause. For instance, if you are a nonvegetarian and relish red meat quite a lot, you are consuming the kind of saturated fats that enhance sebum secretion, which, in turn can cause dandruff. Therefore, if your dandruff problem refuses to go despite taking measures, diet may be a reason for its persistence.

To begin with, take a close look at the hair products you are using. And if you are confused about them, consult an expert. War against dandruff starts with a proper shampoo designed to clear dandruff and also to prevent its recurrence. Therefore, the first challenge is to find an effective shampoo. There are a number of companies making dandruff fighting shampoos, but landing up with a wrong shampoo can do more harm than good. So, go for a trusted brand and check product reviews to find whether or not a certain shampoo is good for you.

Another thing that must be taken care of is that one should limit the range of hair products one uses. Many of the styling products in the market today can have the effect of irritating your scalp, and if that keeps happening over and over again frequently enough, dandruff problems are very likely. Therefore, if you use quite a range of styling products and have dandruff issue, the two might be directly associated.

One thing that most people overlook without thinking twice is diet. Most of us feel that while diet is important for overall fitness, it has little to do with dandruff. That's certainly a mistake. Unhealthy food adversely affects one's overall fitness and scalp is no exception. So, if you wish to remedy or prevent or do both at the same time, pay good attention to what you eat. Keep off fatty and starchy foods and replace them with raw vegetables and fruits. While starchy and fatty foods exacerbate dandruff, the water and fibrous content in natural foods replenish the scalp and make it healthier enabling it to fight fungal infections more effectively and keeping dandruff at bay. One of the natural cures for dandruff is olive oil. Mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 teaspoon of lime juice and apply it on the scalp massaging the scalp gently but thoroughly.

Garlic is also considered to be good remedy. Crush raw garlic cloves and gently apply the pulp on the scalp. Both the pulp and the oil of garlic contain strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. However, it is possible that it might cause some irritation to the skin, in which case you might consider discontinuing it. You may also mix beet root juice with cider vinegar and ginger juice, and apply it on the scalp. It is quite effective against dandruff.

Aloe vera gel also works well against dandruff. Applying it thoroughly on the scalp can do wonders. All you have to do is apply the gel and leave it on for not less than half-an-hour before rinsing it with a shampoo. It is better if you use a shampoo with aloe vera content. It is likely that dandruff would clear within two weeks or so.

Dandruff is also a lifestyle problem in part. Dusty environments are particularly harmful for those who have oily skin in general because oily skin is more likely to harbour fungus. So, if you have oily skin, stay clear of dusty environment, for dust irritates the scalp and works against its general health thereby reducing its dandruff-fighting capabilities. Right shampoo, healthy diet and certain precautions would protect you against dandruff issues.


Note: This is not a piece of authoritative medical opinion or advice.

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