Flakes in your scalp!

By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi

Common amongst people of all age is the shedding of dead cells from the skin of the scalp known as dandruff.  However, in infants, it is known as cradle cap. Though harmless and not contagious, dandruff often causes itching and discomfort for the patient. The exact cause of dandruff is not well known but several factors including allergy sensitivity to hair products, lack of thorough cleaning of scalp, dry skin, over-shampooing of scalp and Seborrhoeic dermatitis could cause it.  Risk factors that predisposes people to dandruff are:

  •   Age: It’s common amongst young adults but could be lifelong for some people.

  •  Certain illnesses: Illnesses such as parkinson’s disease and HIV can expose people to dandruff.    People with compromised immunity are also at risk.

  • Sex: Researchers suspect that male hormones play a role in exposing people to dandruff. It is noticed that more males have dandruff.

  • Poor diet: Healthy and balanced foods help the scalp. Foods rich in Zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B and E is scalp-friendly. Fungus thrives well in sugary and fatty environments.
  • Stress

Treatment of dandruff is very difficult and may recur after a while. It is necessary to take preventive measures to stop its recurrence. Preventive measures include managing stress effectively, eating healthily and washing the hair regularly. Simple home remedies include the use of baking soda or tea tree oil or lime water or coconut oil to wash the hair. Use of salicylic acid or egg oil or apple cider vinegar in regular shampoo is effective in treating dandruff.


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