Various Dandruff Treatments

What is Dandruff?

Dandruff, also known as seborrhea, is a common condition characterized by flaky scaling and excess dryness of the scalp.

It is believed that a yeast normally found in hair follicles may be responsible for the majority of cases. Genetic factors play a big role in who will be affected and climate can significantly affect dandruff symptoms, as well.

Who is more prone?

Certain neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, are also more prone to developing dandruff. So are people recovering from strokes and heart attacks. The reasons for this though are not yet clear.

Watch out for similar symptoms

Symptoms which are similar to dandruff, but should not be mistaken for it, are poison ivy, poison oak, lice, eczema, psoriasis, and ringworm. While dandruff is rarely serious , it can be quite uncomfortable as well as embarrassing.

How to treat dandruff

There are a number of specialized, dandruff shampoos and are divided according to their active ingredient:

  • Selenium sulfide shampoos (Selsun Blue)
  • Salicylic Acid/Ionil T (Sebutone, Denorex, and Head & Shoulders)
  • Tar-based (Neutrogena T/Gel)

How often to use shampoo

Whichever shampoo you use should be used every other day or daily depending on severity of symptoms.

Once symptoms improve, the use of the shampoo should then be continued only twice a week in an effort to keep the dandruff under control.

Additional Treatment Methods

There are also shampoos with tea tree oil which some people find helpful and prefer. If you would really like to stick to homeopathic remedies, you may also want to try apple cider vinegar as another alternative.

Another possibility is the use of anti-fungal medications which may be effective in severe dandruff cases, as well. The latest addition is Ketoconazole shampoos (Nizoral), which can be bought over-the-counter and is available by prescription too.

When you need a doctor

However, if the specialized shampoo or alternatives are not effective in treating your dandruff, or there is severe scaling with redness, you may need corticosteroid medication, which is only available by prescription from your doctor.

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