Dandruff is scaly dry skin that forms on and flakes off the scalp; it is a common problem affecting millions of human beings, from adolescence to adulthood. It is because of the very quick turnover of the cells there. It is more common in men and persons mostly affected have oily skin and immune deficiencies. In few it is a problem of the right hygiene; illness, stress and hormonal changes can also play a part here.

The symptoms of dandruff are white, oily-looking patches on the scalp, which flakes off.

There is no known method to prevent dandruff, but you can control it by shampooing regularly and leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet and manageable stress.

There are many shampoos in the market to control dandruff. They contain 3% salicylic acid, 1% selenium sulphide, 1% zinc pyrithione or ketoconazole.

These shampoos could be used by adults and children above 12 years old. Before use, it is better to consult your doctor. After use rinse the hair at least 5 minutes. Before you try with these shampoos you try the method given by Erin Huffstetler which is harmless.

What You Need:

• Baking soda
• Water

What You Do:

1. Get your hair wet.
2. Then, take a handful of baking soda, and rub it into your hair and scalp.
3. Rinse your hair thoroughly.
4. Continue to use baking soda to wash your hair, avoiding regular shampoo all together.
Note: Initially, your hair will probably feel quite dry, but after a few weeks, your scalp will begin to produce more natural oils, and your hair's softness will return.

Why This Works?

Baking soda's gritty texture grabs and removes the dirt and excess oil from your hair and the loose skin cells from your scalp, without stripping your scalp of its much-needed natural oils (like commercial shampoos do). Overtime, this leads to a healthier scalp and healthier hair.

Benefits of Using Baking Soda as a Dandruff Shampoo:
• inexpensive
• no harsh chemicals
• cleans without removing natural oils
• fragrance-free

If Erin Huffstetle’s method is not working you could try with the shampoos. From my patients I know that it worked well by many.

Before using any medicated Shampoo:

Some medical conditions may interact with medical Shampoos. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

• if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
• if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
• if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
• if you have a condition that covers a large area of the body
• if you want to use it to a child
• if you want to use it to a old person

Side Effects of Salicylic acid:
The side effects are moderate or severe skin irritation, flushing and unusually warm and reddening of skin.
Mild stinging may occur especially on broken skin, only when higher concentrations are used.

Side Effects of Selenium Sulphide:
The side effects are oiliness or dryness of hair and scalp, hair loss, hair discolouration, scalp irritation and skin irritation.

Side Effects pf Zinc Pyrithione:
Zinc Pyrithione may cause allergic reactions and the symptoms include rash, skin irritation, hives, itching, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest and swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue. In some cases Zinc Pyrithione may actually prevent the actual skin healing by irritation the affected area.

As Zinc Pyrithione causes burning and irritation the products containing it should avoid the contact with the eyes.

Side Effects Ketoconazole:
The side effects are stomach pain, depression, skin rash, hives, itching, difficulty in breathing or swallowing and thinking of suicide or planning or trying to do so.

Ketoconazole in high doses can decrease the number of sperms; talk to your doctor immediately before you take this drug.

In extreme cases, your skin specialist may prescribe you a cream containing cortisone to manage it.

You must remember that Dandruff is not an infectious disease.

The FAQs about Dandruff

Can I get dandruff from dry skin?

No. Dandruff is caused by a rapid turnover of cells, so more dead cells are shed. On the other hand, dandruff occurs where the grease glands of the skin are more active and oily.

Is dandruff more common in men than women?

It is true because the grease glands are affected by hormones.

Is dandruff affected by the weather?

Probably true because sunlight inhibits the growth of Malassezia yeast.

Does dandruff result from poor hygiene?

It is wrong, dandruff is caused by the rapid turnover of skin cells, but dandruff sufferers do not have more of the yeast than other people, they are just more sensitive to it. But, it is important to wash the hairs regularly or to take bath.

Is dandruff contagious?

No, you cannot get dandruff from anybody, even if you use his/her brush or comb.

Wearing a hat worsens dandruff, is it true?

It can be true because yeasts thrive best when protected from sunlight and can worsen dandruff.