Monday, April 16, 2012

Dandruff: What's It About?

Hello Saints! Many of us have been or are still going through a battle with dandruff. Prior to starting my health hair care journey, I suffered with dandruff horribly! My scalp would have patches of flakes not only within my hair but also along the hairline. It was so bad that my scalp literally burned. I needed to make a change. I had tried various dandruff shampoos, products and treatments but no matter what it always returned. So, I got online and began to search what other alternatives I could find to treat and/or cure my dandruff issue.

What has really help elimate dandruff for me is I apply aloe vera juice and/or gel directly to my scalp prior to oiling my scalp. I also do conditioner only washes (co-wash) 1-2x weekly. When I shampoo I use only sulfate-free shampoos. I have also done an apple cider vinegar rinse as my final rinse after shampooing and condititioning my hair. I make sure to ALWAYS apply a leave-in after every wash including a co-wash. Since I have take these steps in my hair care, I have been dandruff free. I do not use any special conditioners, dandruff shampoos or treatments to keep my scalp free of dandruff. I just make sure to use water based products such as my shampoos, conditioners, leave-ins and moisturizers. I will only use 100% pure oils like jojoba and extra virgin coconut oil on my scalp. I no longer use ANY products that has mineral oil or petroleum. They are very heavy on my hair and blocks out moisture from getting to and from my hair and scalp. It is my on own personal preference not to use mineral oil in my hair care. :o)

Below is an article I want to share about dandruff so you can have a better understanding about what it is and what can cause it as well as help treat it. Be blessed! :o)

What is dandruff?

Dandruff, also known as scurf or Pityriasis simplex capillitii, affects the scalp and causes flakes of skin to appear - it is a common condition. Our skin cells are forever renewing themselves. When the skin cells on our scalp are renewed the old ones are pushed to the surface and out of the scalp. For a person with dandruff the renewal is faster, meaning more dead skin is shed, making the dandruff more noticeable. Dandruff can also occur if the scalp is frequently exposed to extreme temperatures.

Dandruff can be chronical (long-term) or the result of certain triggers. People with dandruff may also experience irritation and redness on the scalp.

Excessive flaking may be caused by an underlying illness or condition, such as psoriasis, a fungal infection (Malassezia), seborrheic dermatitis, or even head lice.

Some individuals with severe dandruff may have social or self-esteem problems. Therefore, treatment may be important for both physiological and psychological reasons.

The word dandruff comes from (most likely) dand (origin unknown) and E. Anglian (England) dialect huff, hurf, meaning "scab". This is probably linked to the Old Norse word hrufa, meaning "scab". The Old High German word hruf means "scurf".

According to MediLexicon's medical dictionary, dandruff is:

The presence, in varying amounts, of white or gray scales in the hair of the scalp, due to excessive or normal branny exfoliation of the epidermis.

A myth - some people think their dandruff is caused by their scalp being too dry. They try to deal with this by not washing their hair with shampoo, or wash it less often, believing that washing worsens the problem. This is a myth (not true). Dandruff differs from a dry scalp in that it usually gets better when you shampoo more frequently (with the right shampoos).

A significant number of people with dandruff find it improves as they get older.

It is estimated that about 50% of people in Western Europe and North America suffer from dandruff.

Dandruff is more common in men than in women, and in people with oily skin.

Some studies have suggested that diets that are too salty, sugary or spicy and accompanied by excessive alcohol may exacerbate dandruff.

Dandruff does not contribute to hair loss.

Seborrheic dermatitis

This is a skin condition in which the skin becomes inflamed or flaky. Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp is a severe form of dandruff. When it affects the scalp most people refer to it as dandruff. When babies have it, it is referred to as cradle cap. Seborrheic dermatitis causes larger, greasier flakes than most other types of dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis affects not only the scalp, but the skin in other parts of the body too.

What are the signs and symptoms of dandruff? 

The hallmark sign of dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, is white flakes on the scalp and in the hair. If the person is wearing dark clothes, the flakes will be more noticeable when they fall on their shoulders. The scalp may also feel itchy, tight or sore.

Adult individuals with seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp may have red, flaky, greasy patches of skin.
  • There are while flakes of skin on the scalp, and in the person's hair
  • Flakes may be oily looking
  • Head may feel tight and itchy
  • Head may feel tingly
  • Head may feel sore
  • Red, flaky, greasy patches of skin (adults, Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp in adults)
  • Crusting and scaling rash on scalp (babies with Seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap)
Most cases of dandruff do not require a visit to the doctor. However, those who still find themselves scratching their scalp, if parts of the scalp become red or swollen, after a few weeks of self-treatment should see their doctor. The person may have severe seborrheic dermatitis or another condition that has dandruff symptoms.

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