Dandruff, is the commonest of all the complaints a trichologist always encounters. People often shy away from wearing black as there is shower of white flakes on shoulder and back. There is constant itching and irritation on scalp and one feels embarrassed to scratch head all the time.
But dandruff is more than this embarrassment.The shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp is called as Dandruff. Dandruff occurs due to an imbalance between cell regeneration and cell shedding. There are various reasons; to name a few- 1) Poor scalp hygiene 2) Severe stress, 3) Continuously working under the arc lights, 4) Allergy to cosmetics,5) Wrong grooming habits.
Dandruff due to poor scalp hygiene is most common. People tend to wash hair less often due to the fear of hair loss which results in unhygienic scalp conditions and in turn cause more hair loss. This is a vicious cycle. To maintain good scalp health one needs to shampoo every alternate days in hot & humid country like ours.
Oiling is another good habit for maintaining good scalp health but youngsters today do not like to oil as it feels sticky. This is wrong. One needs to oil which you can do at night and shampoo in morning. On should not carry oil on hair for more than 24 hours.
But most often we look at dandruff as some major taboo and try to look for solution on our own. First person we seek advice from is our next door chemist who promotes all kinds of anti-dandruff shampoos and lotions to you. This may help for short period. But lack of scalp conditioning will worsen the dandruff again. Adding on to that the harsh chemicals in anti-dandruff shampoos make the hair dry, brittle and lack luster.
With simple measures of scalp hygiene one can stay away from this embarrassing problem called Dandruff.
But it’s not all about Dandruff. If one does not get respite from Dandruff with these simple measures next step is to see an expert. Most often family physician would refer you to a dermatologist or trichologists.
On detailed examination Dandruff can be classified further depending on the clinical presentation like Seborrheic dermatitis/Pityrisis Capitis, Psoriasis,Pityrisis amiantacea etc.
A)Seborrheic dermatitis/Pityrisis Capitis-
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, inflammatory skin condition that causes flaky, white to yellowish scales to form on oily areas such as the scalp or inside the ear. It can occur with or without reddened skin. In general, symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include: Skin lesions, Plaques over large area, Greasy, oily areas of skin, Skin scales — white and flaking, or yellowish, oily, and adherent — “dandruff”, Itching — may become itchier if infected, Mild redness, Hair loss.
The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown. It is thought to result from a combination of factors. One factor is the sebum level, which accounts for the fact that this condition occurs more commonly in adolescents when sebaceous glands are most active.
Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. The name psoriasis is from Ancient Greek, meaning roughly “itching condition Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the skin. When it forms on the scalp, it is often called scalp psoriasis .Scalp psoriasis can extend beyond the scalp. It can appear on the forehead. Sometimes, it extends to the back of the neck or appears behind the ears. Fingernails can show pitting (pinprick holes) and may appear to have a brown tint or be separated from the nail bed.
Environmental factors are known to trigger it. Such a factor could be
2) Common infections
3) Trauma (koebners phenomenon)
4) Physical agents (eg, HIV infection, alcoholism, smoking,)
Some people have the condition over their entire scalp, while others may have only a few isolated patches. In some cases, scalp psoriasis may extend onto the neck, forehead, ears, and face. Depending on the type of psoriasis (guttate versus plaque, for instance), the spillover psoriasis patches may have a different appearance.
Having psoriasis can make many people self-conscious, and scalp psoriasis can be an even more embarrassing condition. However, Scalp psoriasis is seen more often than body psoriasis.
It is also known as “Tinea amiantacea” which is an eczematous condition of the scalp resulting in hair loss in which thick tenaciously adherent scale infiltrates and surrounds the base of a group of scalp hairs. Pityriasis amiantacea affects the scalp as shiny asbestos-like (amiantaceus) thick scales attached in layers to the hair shaft. Scales surround and bind down tufts of hair. The condition can be localized or covering over the entire scalp. Temporary alopecia and scarring alopecia may occur due to repeated removal of hairs attached to the scale. Pityriasis amiantacea can easily be misdiagnosed due its close resemblance to other scalp diseases such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis.
Once a diagnosis is done one needs to be given a disciplined regimen as such problems show relapses very often.
At Richfeel it is attended with a completely different approach. With external care you are given internal food supplements to improve your immunity or rather control autoimmune reactions in your body which will gradually control the flare of disorder. It is attended without using any steroids and with a completely natural remedies.
So, don’t just brush away dandruff as a minor problem but seek an opinion from an expert to timely overcome the embarrassment.