Dandruff (Seborrheic dermatitis)

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Hahnemann Ki Aawaz Posted on 25 – 02 – 2017

Dandruff, per se, is not a disease but a symptom.
Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition marked by itching and flaking of the skin on your scalp. Although dandruff isn’t contagious and is rarely serious, it can be embarrassing and sometimes difficult to treat. Dandruff is nothing but excessive scaling of dead cells of the skin of the scalp. Basically body undergoes constant but gradual renewal in every 24 hours. However, when it is much faster renewal of the skin, it becomes visible in the form of scales, which we call dandruff.
Symptoms of Dandruff
For most teens and adults, dandruff symptoms are easy to spot: white, oily looking flakes of dead skin that dot your hair and shoulders, and an itchy, scaling scalp. The condition may worsen during the fall and winter, when indoor heating can contribute to dry skin, and improve during the summer.
Excessive and obvious scaling of skin which is visible in the form of white (grey), flaky substance is the most common symptom (or sign) of dandruff. It may often be associated with itching, oily skin, irritation or redness of underlying skin. It tends to be chronic (long lasting) as well as recurring.
Dandruff could be of two major types:
a. Dry (flakes appear silvery and white)
b. Moist. (Where the flakes appear pale yellowish with unpleasant smell.)
The causes, triggering factors and maintaining factors can be categorized as under:
Internal Cause:
H Hormonal imbalance
H Poor Health
H Allergic Hypersensitive
H Emotional Stress
H Excessive consumption of fat, starch, sugar
H Improper Nutrition
H Hereditary Predisposition
External Cause:
H Infection (Pityrosporum Ovale or Malassezia Globosa) (Debatable.)
H Excessive use of hair sprays, gels
H Improper use of hair : coloring products, hot iron curls
H Cold weather, dry indoor heating
H Infrequent shampooing of hair or Inadequate rinsing or shampooing of hair
H Poor Hygiene
H Excessive junk food
” Dry skin. Simple dry skin – the kind you get during winter when the air is cold and rooms are overheated is the most common cause of itchy, flaking dandruff. Flakes from dry skin are generally smaller and less oily than those from other causes of dandruff, and you’ll likely have symptoms and signs of dry skin on other parts of the body, such as your legs and arms.
” Irritated, oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis). This condition, one of the most frequent causes of dandruff, is marked by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. Seborrheic dermatitis may affect not only your scalp, but also other areas rich in oil glands, such as your eyebrows, the sides of your nose and the backs of your ears, your breastbone, your groin area, and sometimes your armpits.
” Not shampooing often enough. If you don’t regularly wash your hair, oils and skin cells from your scalp can build up, causing dandruff.
” Eczema. If you have eczema anywhere on your body, it could also be on your scalp, possibly leading to the development of dandruff.
” Sensitivity to hair care products (contact dermatitis). Sometimes sensitivities to certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes, especially paraphenylene diamine (PPD), can cause a red, itchy, scaling scalp. Shampooing too often or using too many styling products also may irritate your scalp, causing dandruff.
” A yeast-like fungus (malassezia). Malassezia lives on the scalps of most healthy adults without causing problems. But sometimes it grows out of control, feeding on the oils secreted by your hair follicles. This can irritate the skin on your scalp and cause more skin cells to grow. The extra skin cells die and fall off, clumping with oil from your hair and scalp, making them appear white and flaky in your hair or on your clothes. Most often this eruption is identical to or closely resembles seborrheic dermatitis.
Exactly what causes an overgrowth of malassezia isn’t known, although having too much oil on your scalp; changes in your hormones; stress; illness; neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease; a suppressed immune system; not shampooing often enough; and extra sensitivity to the malassezia fungus may contribute to the development of dandruff.
Diagnosis of dandruff
While concluding the exact diagnosis of dandruff, your doctor often requires ruling out other underlying diseases, which often resemble present like dandruff: They are
a. Seborrhoeic dermatitis
b. Psoriasis
c. Fungal infection
Your doctor will be able to evaluate your history and the exact diagnosis could be arrived at by a close clinical examination. No biopsy is required.
Prognosis of Dandruff
Dandruff is not a serious condition but left untreated it can be unsightly and embarrassing. The symptoms of mild dandruff can usually be controlled by shampooing daily with a mild hypoallergenic shampoo and scrubbing the scalp thoroughly. For more severe cases of dandruff, patients can self treat the condition with several medications that suppress cell turnover. Depending on a patient’s age, cell turnover tends to return to an abnormal rate once treatment is stopped, and dandruff scaling will begin again.
Risk factors
Almost anyone can have dandruff, but certain factors can make you more susceptible:
” Age. Dandruff usually begins in young adulthood and continues through middle age. That doesn’t mean older adults don’t get dandruff, however. For some people, the problem can be lifelong.
” Being male. Because more men have dandruff, some researchers think male hormones may play a role in dandruff. Men also have larger oil-producing glands on their scalps, which can contribute to dandruff.
” Oily hair and scalp. Malassezia feeds on oils in your scalp. For that reason, having excessively oily skin and hair makes you more prone to dandruff.
” Poor diet. If your diet lacks foods high in zinc, B vitamins or certain types of fats, you may be more likely to have dandruff.
” Certain illnesses. For reasons that aren’t clear, adults with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, are more likely to develop seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. So are people recovering from stressful conditions, particularly heart attack and stroke, and those with com promised immune systems.

Lifestyle and home remedies
In addition to regular shampooing, you can take steps to reduce your risk of developing dandruff:
” Learn to manage stress. Stress affects your overall health, making you susceptible to a number of conditions and diseases. It can even help trigger dandruff or worsen existing symptoms.
” Shampoo often. If you tend to have an oily scalp, daily shampooing may help prevent dandruff.
” Cut back on styling products. Hair sprays, styling gels, mousses and hair waxes can all build up on your hair and scalp, making them oilier.
” Eat a healthy diet. A diet that provides enough zinc, B vitamins and certain types of fats may help prevent dandruff.
” Get a little sun. Sunlight may be good for dandruff. But because exposure to ultraviolet light damages your skin and increases your risk of skin cancer, don’t sunbathe. Instead, just spend a little time outdoors. And be sure to wear sunscreen on your face and body.
Homoeopathic Remedies
” Acid Flour:- Dry scurfy irritable scalp with falling off of hair.
” Arsenic Alb.:- In debilitated subjects. Patients with fair skin. Scalp itches intolerably; circular patches on bare spots; dry scales; nightly burning and itching.
” Amm. Muriaticum:- Hair falls out, with itchings and dandruff.
” Badiaga:- dandruff; scalp sore, dry, tetter-like.
” Calcaria Sul.:- Dandruff on the scalp causes eruptions with thick yellow crusts; eczema; also pimples due to dandruff; falling of hair.
” Cochlearia Armoracia:- Locally cures dandruff.
” Graphites:- Herpetic dandruff (dandruff accompanied with eczema or other eruptions). Scalp scaly with distressing itching, humid, Falling of hair, Burning on vertex.
” Kali Sulph:- Dandruff and scaldhead.
” Medorrhinum:- Itching of scalp; dandruff.
” Mezerium:- With great itching and loss of hair.
” Phosphorus:- Copious; Dandruff falls out in clouds. Falling off of hair in bunches. Itching of scalp.
” Psorinum:- Dandruff smells badly.
” Sanicula:- Scaly dandruff over the scalp, eye-brows, beard and other hairy parts.
” Thuja:- White scaly dandruff; hair dry to falls out.
” For Yellow color Dandruff: Kali Sulphuricum
” For white color Dandruff: Kali.chlor., Mezerium., Natrum.Mur., Phosphorus, Thuja.

Dr. Kunwar Shatrughan
Admin. of Youth Homoeopathic Asso. of India
(Dr. Kunwar’s Multispeciality Homoeopathic Centre),  Haryan

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