How to get rid of dandruff
By Nur Choudhury MPharm (Ind. Prescriber)
What is dandruff?
Firstly, it is not contagious! It is common, it is bothersome and can be embarrassing to live with. It is usually seen as grey/white flakes in the scalp/hair or more often shoulders. It can also cause itching or dryness.
Scaly itchy scalp is associated with a condition called seborrheic dermatitis. This condition can affect other parts of the body such as the face and ears.
What causes dandruff?
Our skin is constantly being regenerated, lf skin is shed and new ones replace them. Dandruff occurs when this process of renewal is accelerated for some reason. This causes flakes to appear and shed.
Common causes of a flaky scalp include:
Seborrheic dermatitis – is caused by overgrowth of bacteria causing itchy flaky skin in the scalp and other part of the body.
Psoriasis – Red flaky patches with silvery lining. Is a multisystem disease can affect other body parts such as joints.
Eczema- allergic complex, causing dryness, itchiness and flakiness.
Tinea capitis (scalp ringworm) – a fungal infection
Allergic contact dermatitis – an allergic reaction to hair products like mousse or hair dye
Not washing your hair does not cause dandruff. However, it is not very hygienic and will make flakes appear more visible.
You don’t always need a doctor or a pharmacist to treat dandruff. Many home remedies have been tried over the years and many swear by them.
Avoid irritating hair products like gels, dyes or hairsprays
massaging your scalp gently when you wash your hair (rather than scratching)
Use anti-dandruff shampoo
Natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar , seaweed masks have been muted for years, but have no medical evidence.
Be mindful of certain natural remedies for dandruff, they can be harmful!
Always consult your doctor if you are unsure.
All anti-dandruff shampoos will consist of atleast one of the following five ingredients:
You may need to try a few different brands of shampoos to find which is the most suitable and effective for you, furthermore, do not change to a different brand after one use, atleast persevere for 1 month before deciding to ditch it. To benefit most from any anti-dandruff shampoo, it is recommended you leave it in your hair for atleast five minutes before washing out. Once you found your ideal shampoo, continue to use it on a regular basis to avoid recurrent dandruff.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommend the use of both coconut and Olive oil to treat dandruff.
Both of these oils have demonstrated usefulness is softening the crusty, scaly scalp. Warm olive and coconut oil appears to be even more effective.
For maximum gains it is recommended to use these oils with anti0dandruff shampoo and even other treatments.
Tips to protect your scalp
Dandruff can take its toll on the scalp. Below are some practical tips to help protect your scalp and hair.
Do not overwash your hair
Washing helps to clear the scalp of dandruff, but over washing can dry out the scalp and irritate it further.
Don’t blow dry
Hair dryers can really dry out your scalp, this will certainly exacerbate the dandruff as well the itchy sore scalp. Always towel dry or let it dry by itself.
Use a scalp treatment
Betacap can be very effective to treat psoriasis. It’s particularly good in flare ups, the frequency of use can be adjusted to the symptoms. If you have broken skin, Betacap can sting (contains isopropyl alcohol and sodium hydroxide)
Betacap is a liquid topical steroid and should be used sparingly. Unlike other topical steroids, Betacap does not leave your hair too greasy so your not in a rush to wash your hair straight away. Betacap is a prescription only medicine (POM) and requires a prescription from your doctor.
Try Neutrogena, Faith in Nature or E45 dry scalp shampoo.
No to sharp combs and brushes
A sharp brush or comb through an irritated flaky scalp has a sublime feel and instantly relives the itchy scalp. However, this is usually causing a huge amount of damage to your scalp and hair roots. Use a soft smooth plastic comb/brush with wide tines.
How do I Buy Betacap?
AccessDoctor can assess and provide treatment for dandruff. Complete a free medical consultation and one of doctors will review your request, if approved you will receive your treatment the next day.