Forms of the Flakes: Types of Dandruff
How to Identify the Types of Dandruff You Have
- Dry skin dandruff: This is a very common phenomenon and could be the result of taking a shampoo and washing your hair with very hot water which creates dryness. This happens essentially in winter and is very common among people with dry curly hair. It could also be the result of infrequent shampooing.
- Oily-scalp related dandruff: This is a condition that is the result of an oily scalp and could result in different types of dandruff. Sebum is necessary as it keeps the scalp moisturised. However, the scalp sometimes produces excess sebum and this when mixed with dirt and dead skin cells could cause dandruff. The excess sebum could be the consequence of stress, which forces the body to release an abnormally high level of sebum.
- Fungal Dandruff: it is quite normal to find fungal Malassezia on the skin and scalp. This is the result of excessive oil in the scalp or a pH imbalance. The oleic acid produced is a by-product that creates more skin cells and forces them to gather together and form white flakes.
- Dandruff caused by product build up: The use of too many hair products including gels, pomades, dyes, leave-in conditioners and mousses bring with them, its own share of risks and are responsible for different types of dandruff. They could accumulate and combine with dirt and dead skin cells to cause dandruff.
- Disease-related dandruff: Certain skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema lead to an exaggerated production of skin cells and this causes scaly skin to develop on the scalp. When sebum and impurities combine with these skin cells, they cause dandruff.
- Dandruff caused by seborrheic dermatitis: This is a more severe form of dandruff as it causes sores, redness and an itchy scalp. The cause is an inflammation triggered by a yeast infection. Stress and hormonal changes could also be the cause of seborrheic dermatitis.
How to Treat Different Types of Dandruff
- Dry skin dandruff: A moisturising shampoo is an absolute essential to treat dry skin dandruff. A thorough massage with warm coconut oil could remove the itchiness and act as a protection against dryness. Coconut oil also has antifungal and antibacterial properties to prevent infection.
- Oily skin dandruff: To solve your greasy scalp issues using an shampoo for oily hair dandruff with salicylic acid is recommended. Avoid using conditioner on your hair. Lemon juice is a great way to remove the grease in your hair and is also a potent remedy for all types of dandruff. Squeeze out the juice from a lemon into a glass of water and apply it all over your scalp. Wash it off after 10 minutes with lukewarm water.
- Fungus related dandruff: Use a shampoo containing zinc pyrithione to treat Malassezia like fungus problems. This is also effective against other types of dandruff and scalp conditions such as eczema and psoriasis among other things.
- Seborrheic dermatitis treatment: There is a possibility wherein your seborrheic dermatitis will clear up by itself but on occasions a detailed treatment plan will be necessary to treat your problem. Over-the-counter medicines and home treatment will be part of the plan. Your OTC anti-dandruff shampoo might have one of the following ingredients - Coal tar, Ketoconazole, Salicylic acid, Selenium sulphide or zinc pyrithione. You might also be suggested corticosteroid lotions or sulphur products to deal with your seborrheic dermatitis or different types of dandruff issues.
Tips to Prevent Dandruff
- Diet: This is where it all starts from. There are a range of body deficiencies that could trigger off your particular hair condition. A healthy and balanced diet would be your way to nip the problem at the initial stage itself. Reduce your high-carb diets as they lead to the build-up of glycogen which yeast feast on.
- Shampoo: it is extremely important to shampoo well as this could help you avoid dandruff issues. A major reason for dandruff is the accumulation of dead cells and oil in the scalp due to improper washing. Conditioners should be applied at least an inch away from the scalp. It is very important to make sure that the residue is not left behind. You can try Traya Anti- dandruff shampoo which removes dandruff, reduces irritation and soothes scalp.
- Exfoliate your scalp: This is the process of removing the top layer of dry skin which helps in breaking down the dead skin cells that gather on your scalp and cause flaking. This can be done with the help of scalp exfoliators which contain salicylic acid. Exfoliation is very useful for all types of dandruff on scalp.
- Hot oil masks: Oil-based treatments are effective in balancing the scalp’s excess oil production. Applying oils will help extract the oils from the scalp and get rid of them. Warm coconut oil (avoid making it too hot) is a good option.
- Wash your scalp only: Use dandruff shampoos only on your scalp as they could dry out your hair. Massage it for at least 5 minutes into the scalp before washing it off.
- Massage in case of an itch, do not scratch: If you have a severe itch on your scalp, do not scratch, as you could open up a wound and cause an infection. Try and gently massage your scalp instead.
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Dr. Jaspreet Sarna, M.D
Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) with a decade-long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.