Hello and welcome to medsimplified, My name is Dr. Umar Malik and, in this video, we are gonna talk about dandruff and how to treat it. Dandruff is a common condition that is not dangerous or contagious meaning it does not spread from person to person. While dandruff certainly isn’t something to be ashamed of, many people find it socially awkward to see white flakes of visible dandruff on their hair and clothes. Dandruff is caused by a number of factors and you would be surprised to know that approximately “HALF” of the world’s adult population is affected by dandruff. So, you should never feel alone as this is very very common problem and affects many people. In this video we will discuss what is dandruff, the factors that can lead to dandruff and then we will jump on to the treatment part. In the end I will also discuss two very effective home remedies for treating dandruff, so make sure to watch the video till the end. Also, I have left time stamps for all the subtopics of this video, so if you want to jump on to a particular part of the video just slide your pointer on the video timeline.
Now let’s, begin. Dandruff is a skin condition that mainly affects the scalp but it’s not uncommon for people to discover dandruff flakes in their eyebrows, around their ears, and along the sides of their nose. To understand dandruff in a better way, you will have to first understand about a condition in dermatology known as seborrhoeic dermatitis. Seborrhoeic dermatitis, also known as seborrhoea, is a long-term skin disorder. Symptoms include red, scaly, greasy, itchy, and inflamed skin.
Areas of the skin rich in oil-producing glands are often affected like face, chest and scalp. If you look at the term itself you would understand half of its meaning. Seborrhea is made up of two words, sebum and rrhoea. Sebum is the oily secretion of the glands present in your skin and the word rrhoea is derived from the Greek work “rhoia” meaning flow. Dermatitis is also made up of two words Derma meaning skin and “itis” meaning inflammation. SO, Seborrhoeic dermatitis basically means an inflammation of the skin in which seborrhea occurs or excessive production of sebum occurs. SD can affect many areas of the skin like your face, area around your eyebrows, around your ears as well as the scalp. Basically, any area of the skin that has lot of sebum producing glands k/a sebaceous glands. Now what’s the link between SD and dandruff? Well dandruff is just a milder form of SD.
Yes, when SD occurs in a mild form without excessive itching, redness and scaling of the scalp it is known in simple terms as “Dandruff”. One of the most important cause of dandruff is a fungus k/a Malasezia aka Pityrosporum. Now this fungus is a normal commensal of our skin, meaning it is a harmless organism and lives in the glands of our skin and normally it doesn’t lead to any problems.
But in people with dandruff, the levels of Malassezia are increased by 1.5 to 2 times its normal level. The fugus Malassezia, particularly, Malassezia globosa, that metabolizes triglycerides present in sebum by producing and enzyme k/a lipase, resulting in production of oleic acid. Oleic acid, a key fatty acid, is shown to induce a dandruff-like condition that is ultra-structurally identical to dandruff. As many of you know our skin cells are continuously shed from the top layers and new ones are added to the bottom ones. Usually it takes about 40-50 days for the cells from the bottom layer of skin to reach the top most layer but in people with excessive levels of the fungus Malasezia this skin turnover rate is reduced to less than 7 days.
The result is that dead skin cells are shed in large, oily clumps, which appear as white or grayish flakes on the scalp, skin and clothes and this is the basic reason for dandruff. So, a Dandruff scale is just a large clump of dead skin cells mixed with oily secretions of the sebaceous glands and keratin. So now you know what is dandruff and why whitish flakes of dandruff are produced. Now let’s jump over to the treatment part of dandruff, and before we start with the medical treatment lets have a look at some of the lifestyle changes and tips you should keep in mind if you have dandruff. 1. Soften and remove scales from your hair. Apply mineral oil or olive oil to your scalp. Leave it in for an hour or so.
Then comb or brush your hair and wash it. The products that I recommend are olive oil from ORS and Herbal Mineral oil from Khadi. 2. Avoid harsh soaps and use a moisturizer so as to keep your skin hydrated and prevents dryness. 3. Avoid styling products. Stop using hair sprays, gels and other styling products while you're treating the condition. 4. Avoid skin and hair products that contain alcohol. These can cause the disease to flare up. Now lets look at the medical treatment of dandruff. The medical treatment is very simple usually consisting of only medicated shampoos, lotions and creams but the problem with the medical treatment is that most people do not complete the whole duration of the course of the treatment. Most of the treatment regimens for dandruff have to be consistently followed for at least 2-3 months for the complete eradication and to prevent future recurrences.
With that said let’s look at the first line of treatment that is used for dandruff which is medicated shampoos. Medicated shampoos which contain anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory drugs are most commonly used to treat dandruff. Shampoos containing compounds like ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, piroctone olamine, ciclopirox olamine, selenium sulphide, sodium sulfacetamide, topical terbinafine AND ICHthyiol pale are most effective in treating dandruff. These compounds have anti-fungal properties and they reduce the number and proliferation of Malasezia fungus on your scalp. I have selected some of the best shampoos among them all which mostly contain zinc pyrithione, ciclopirox olamine and selenium sulphide as these have been proven by several studies to be the most effective compounds in treating Dandruff. All the links to these products are in the description below. These shampoos have to applied twice weekly for the first 4 weeks and then only once weekly as a maintenance therapy for the next 1-2 months. While applying these shampoos make sure to leave it for 3-5 minutes in your hair so it can have its maximum antifungal effect.
The next category of medication that is used in this treatment are lotions of similar compounds that you apply on your scalp and leave them on. Also k/a leave-on lotions. They usually contain zinc pyrithione, ciclopirox olamine and other antifungal compounds. These are applied twice daily on the scalp for at least 4-6 weeks. Almost 75-80% of people with dandruff will experience good response with these antifungal shampoos and lotions alone. If you have excessive flakes of dandruff and also deposits of white flakes on your scalp that are tough to remove you should consider using shampoos like the Neutrogena T/Sal 3% which contain salicylic acid.
This will help you to get rid of the flakes much easier. If you are not getting relief from the above treatment you can use hair washes that contain a mild steroid like fluocinolone. This helps to control the inflammation in the scalp that is also an important reason why dandruff occurs. If all these topical medications don’t work you can also consult your dermatologist for taking oral drugs like antifungal itraconazole. To control the skin inflammation and turnover rate acutane or isotretinoin is also used but it is a prescription only drug and also has some side-effects. Now, like I said in the end we will discuss 2 very effective home remedies for dandruff. While there are plenty of over-the-counter products designed to treat dandruff, natural remedies can be just effective. Number 1: Tee tree Oil Tea tree oil is an essential oil that can be used for several purposes, including keeping skin, hair and nails healthy.
It is also proven to have powerful anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help alleviate symptoms of dandruff. In fact, according to one review, tea tree oil is effective at fighting the specific strain of fungus that can cause both seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. A 4-week study examined the effects of tea tree oil on dandruff by treating 126 people daily with a shampoo containing either 5% tea tree oil or a placebo. At the end of the study, tea tree oil reduced the severity of symptoms by 41% and DECREASED greasiness and itchiness. Tea tree oil can cause irritation in those with sensitive skin.
It’s best to dilute it by adding a few drops of a carrier oil like coconut oil before applying it directly to the skin. Number 2: Coconut Oil Well-known for its multiple health benefits, coconut oil is often also used as a natural remedy for dandruff. Coconut oil may help improve skin hydration and prevent dryness, which reduces symptoms of eczema and dandruff. So, guys these were two very effective home remedies for treating dandruff. I hope you liked the video.
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