Dandruff is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Approximately half the population of the North American Continent has dandruff!
It is characterized by the presence of white or light-coloured flakes on the scalp. It is also known as seborrheic dermatitis.
These flakes can be oily or dry, and they may be accompanied by itchiness, redness, and irritation.
Dandruff is not contagious and is not caused by poor hygiene. While dandruff is not a serious medical condition, it can be a nuisance. It can also be embarrassing, and it can make it difficult to keep your hair clean and looking its best.
What are the symptoms of dandruff?
The main symptom of dandruff is the presence of flakes of skin on the scalp, on clothes, or on the hair. The flakes are usually white or yellowish and are often oily. Dandruff can also cause itching and redness of the scalp. In severe cases, it can lead to hair loss.
How does dandruff develop?
There are many different theories about what causes dandruff. One theory is that it is caused by a fungus called Malassezia. This fungus is found on the scalps of people with dandruff, but it is also found on the scalps of people without dandruff.
Another theory is that dandruff is caused by a build-up of oils and skin cells on the scalp. This build-up can be the result of many different things, including poor hygiene, the use of oily hair products, and certain medical conditions.
How to get rid of dandruff?
Whatever the cause, dandruff can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get rid of it.
The first step in treating dandruff is to identify the cause. If you think your dandruff may be caused by a fungus, you can try using an antifungal shampoo.
If you think your dandruff may be caused by a build-up of oils and skin cells, you can try using a shampoo that contains selenium sulphide or zinc pyrithione. You may also want to try using a medicated dandruff shampoo that contains ketoconazole.
Our pharmacists at Ogden Pharmacy, Calgary, can help you determine the proper dandruff treatment (since it is a minor ailment), especially if you live near us in Lynnwood, Ogden or Riverbend and decide to have a little walk, visit us, and chat a little with one of our pharmacists.
The most important factor in choosing a shampoo is to find one that is effective for your particular case of dandruff. This may require trying a few different types of shampoo before you find the right one.
Be sure to follow the instructions on the shampoo bottle. In general, you should use the shampoo 2-3 times per week for the best results.
In addition to shampoo, other treatments can be used to control dandruff. These include:
- Steroid scalp solutions or lotions.
- Antifungal scalp solutions or creams.
- Coal tar products.
- Selenium sulphide products.
- Zinc pyrithione products.
It is important to follow the instructions on the product label. Some products should not be used more than 2-3 times per week.
If over-the-counter products do not work, you may need to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can prescribe a stronger shampoo or cream, or lotion that you can use to treat your dandruff.
Can dandruff be prevented?
There is no sure way to prevent dandruff, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk:
- Wash your hair regularly with a mild shampoo.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals or hot rollers in your hair.
- If you have oily skin, use an oil-free moisturizer.
- If you have dry skin, use a moisturizer that contains vitamin B.
- Avoid wearing tight hats or headbands.
In most cases, dandruff can be controlled with regular shampooing and the use of over-the-counter treatments. However, if your dandruff is severe or if it does not respond to treatment, you should see a dermatologist.