What Causes Dandruff, Treatment And Prevention

Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that can be controlled by various methods. There are effective shampoos and products for treating and preventing dandruff.

Dandruff can be a very embarrassing condition that affects many people. Having dandruff may cause a lack of confidence and self-esteem. The person suffering with dandruff often feels they cannot wear dark clothing because others may notice. There are treatments and steps that can be taken to help prevent problem dandruff. Understanding what dandruff is and the conditions that cause it are the first steps in treating and preventing it.

The book entitled "Every Women's Health", published by Doubleday Book & Music Clubs Inc., defines dandruff as a scalp problem that is identified by excessive flaking of dead tissue. It also tells how dandruff forms. It says that everyone sheds dead skin cells. A person with oily dandruff has overactive oil glands around the roots of the hair. This overactivity causes the natural shedding process to speed up, resulting in a crusty scalp, oily hair, and excessive flaking. For some people this problem even occurs on the eyelashes.

"Every Women's Health" describes the problem of dry dandruff. It says in this case, the oil glands become plugged, resulting in dull, dry looking hair and dry flakes of dead skin. This dry type of dandruff can be just as bothersome as oily dandruff.

According to the "Neutrogena" website, published in 2000 by "Neutrogena", a fungus often found on the scalp called P. Ovale, is often present with dandruff. This fungus may not cause dandruff, but it may in fact be caused by dandruff. The true causes of dandruff are unknown. "Every Women's Health" says dandruff is somehow caused by poorly functioning sebaceous glands. Although the causes of dandruff are inconclusive, there are treatments for existing dandruff and methods to help prevent recurrence.

"Neutrogena" says some treatments work for people while others do not. If you try a product and it does not work, you should not get discouraged. After giving a product ample time to provide results, try something different. The same article suggests using a shampoo that contains coal tar or salicylic acid. The website article entitled "Dandruff", published by Betterbodz.com, suggests trying shampoos containing sulfur, selenium sulfide, or pyrithione zinc, as well as products containing coal tar and salicylic acid. It says shampoos containing tar help slow the production of skin cells. Shampoos containing salicylic acid help remove these cells. These shampoos also help control a fungus that promotes problem dandruff. "Neutrogena" advises if dandruff is extreme or unaffected by shampoos, a skin specialist should be consulted.

"Dandruff" recommends shampooing on a daily basis. This should be done by thoroughly massaging the scalp so dead skin cells are removed. Since dandruff shampoos and products tend to be harsh, it is important to carefully follow label directions. Doing so will ensure the safest, most effective use of the product. The same article suggests alternating regular shampoos and dandruff shampoos in order to prevent the hair from becoming dry. It also recommends using shampoo containing tar if the hair starts becoming too dry.

According to the website "Vitawise", in the publication entitled "Dandruff", supplements and herbs can be beneficial when controlling dandruff and its symptoms. It advises the consultation of a physician before beginning treatment and offers the following suggestions.

Supplements suggested to be very important to aid in natural healing are zinc lozenges, vitamin B6, vitamin B complex, vitamin E, kelp tablets, salmon oil, and primrose oil. Supplements considered important are beta-carotene and vitamin A. Lecithin is said to be helpful because it adds strength to the cells of the hair and scalp.

Whatever method of treatment you choose to follow, it is important to be persistent. All methods of treatment take time. When you discover which treatment is right for you, be sure to follow through with recommendations. Dandruff does not have to keep you from going out and enjoying life to its fullest.

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