Dandruff is excessive scaling and shedding of dead skin on the eyebrows, scalp, ears, nose and around the hairline, the flakes of skin can range from small and white to large, greasy and yellow. Dandruff can be rather itchy as well. Dandruff normally does not pose any danger, although it can be rather annoying as well as embarrassing. Washing your hair often is not the solution though, as dandruff does not necessarily occur because hair has not been washed enough. Dandruff is often caused when skin cells grow and die off too fast, doctors have not know why this happens though. Patients with severe flaking have been found to have overactive sebaceous glands, and fungus which is normally present can cause dandruff when there is an elevated level of it being produced. Other causes of Dandruff include food allergies, using strong shampoos, stress, hereditary, yeast infection, excessive sweating and the time of the year. Dandruff flakes which are dry, thick lesions consisting of large scales might be psoriasis of the scalp; flakes that are yellow and greasy could be a type of dermatitis. Usually you do not have to worry about these types of dandruff unless you scratch your scalp continuously, allowing bacteria a chance to enter the skin.
Massaging tea tree oil into your scalp will prevent flaking and protect your scalp against infection, some herbalists believe that tea tree oil is just as effective as prescription creams. Another remedy is to rub aloe Vera, nettle tea and rosemary oil into your scalp before shampooing, if your scalp is oily use diluted apple cider or lemon juice, and olive oil as the carrier cream if your scalp is dry. Stress sometimes aggravates dandruff so regular exercise is recommended as it is good for your stress levels. Aromatherapy is also used to alleviate dandruff. Massaging cedar wood in a carrier oil into your scalp daily will help if your scalp is oily. Blend 4 drops of geranium oil, 4 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of sandalwood oils into a carrier oil e.g.. Jojoba, massage this mixture into your hair a few times per week. Greasy dandruff can be alleviated by massaging a blend of 1 drop rosemary oil, 2 drops cedar wood oil, 2 drops juniper oil, 2 drops lemon oil, 3 drops of tea tree oil in a carrier oil into your scalp. Briskly massaging your scalp with olive oil or tea tree oil will help improve the circulation in your scalp. Shampoo made up of soothing herbs such as chamomile, thyme, rosemary, comfrey, nettle and elderflower should be used at least once a week or use the medicated dandruff shampoo or one of the herbal alternatives listed above so that the recurrence of dandruff is prevented. Watching your diet is also necessary, try eat nutritious, low-fat foods. If standard dandruff treatments are not working for you try to cut out fatty foods such as chocolate, nuts, excessive sugar, seafood, dairy products and spicy foods out of your diet. Try take supplements of vitamins such as thiamine (vitamin B1), biotin, niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B12, evening primrose and dandelion extract, these might be able to help alleviate dandruff by improving the body’s ability to break down fatty acids. Dandruff is a common symptom of food allergies, unfortunately it is often difficult to know which foods or combination of foods caused the reaction. You should consult your doctor if the scales are yellow and greasy, and they do not respond to over the counter dandruff lotions and shampoos, the dandruff will also be itchy and only occur in a few patches, these symptoms occur if you are suffering from Seborrheic Dermatitis, this needs a more aggressive treatment so that it can relieve the flaking and itching.
Over the counter shampoos sometimes help to moderate dandruff, if you are still scratching and shedding skin after using the shampoo, you should consult your doctor as there are more stubborn forms of dandruff that he will be able to treat. Doctors recommend that you should be careful with medicated shampoos and that you rinse your hair thoroughly after using them, once the dandruff clears up, the medicated shampoo should not be used too often as they are too strong for frequent use. Brushing your hair with a natural bristle brush can be very helpful. Herbal remedies usually relieve the dryness and itching, but the greasy scales will have to be treated with a tougher tar-based product. Stress-reducing activities, herbal preparations, a careful balanced diet and massage can also be helpful when treating dandruff.
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