Dandruff Treatment

Find out more about dandruff causes and what the best dandruff treatment is.


What treatments will beat dandruff?
Lots of shampoos are available to help with dandruff. Just washing your hair will help to remove flakes, but anti-dandruff shampoos also contain chemicals to control yeasts or reduce inflammation on your scalp. Try to avoid getting anti-dandruff shampoos in your eyes, and rinse well with water if you do. If you want to deal with dandruff, shampoo can help!

Most people start off by trying a commonly available anti-dandruff shampoo, such as one that contains zinc pyrithione. A well-known brand is Head and Shoulders. Other common anti-dandruff shampoos contain coal tar. Brands include T-Gel and Polytar AF. One study found that using a coal tar shampoo for four weeks worked better than an ordinary, non-medicated shampoo. Some people don't like the smell of tar shampoos, but many products are perfumed to try to reduce this problem. For more severe dandruff, you can try a shampoo containing ketoconazole. Ketoconazole is a drug that kills fungi, including yeasts. One brand name for ketoconazole shampoo is Nizoral.You use it twice a week to get rid of dandruff, or once every two weeks to stop dandruff coming back. In studies, people who used a ketoconazole shampoo for a few weeks had less dandruff or flaky skin, and less itching and redness.

Occasionally, people find that ketoconazole irritates their scalp. There's a bigger risk of getting skin irritation if you've recently used a steroid treatment on your skin. Another treatment that's used for more severe dandruff is selenium sulphide. This is a chemical that helps to kill fungi. Brand names for selenium sulphide shampoo include Selsun and Head and Shoulders Intensive Treatment Dandruff Shampoo.You use the shampoo twice a week for two weeks, once a week for two further weeks, and then whenever you need it.

Side effects don't seem to be common with selenium shampoos. A few people get skin irritation. Some people find the shampoo bleaches their hair slightly or turns their scalp an orange colour. If you colour, bleach, straighten, or curl your hair, try not to do these things around the same time as using a selenium shampoo. Either do these things two days before or after using the shampoo, or rinse your hair very thoroughly with cold water before colouring or heat-styling your hair. If you have a crust of dry or scaly skin on your scalp, it may help if you get rid of it before you use other treatments. Some doctors suggest applying warm olive oil, or using a salicylic acid shampoo. Salicylic acid is a chemical that helps to break down hard or scaly skin. Brands that contain salicylic acid include Meted (salicylic acid with sulphur) and Capasal (salicylic acid with tar). Tea tree oil is an alternative remedy that is sometimes used for fungal infections. One study found that a shampoo containing 5 percent tea tree oil helped with dandruff when used every day.

Going to doctor
If you have dandruff caused by severe dermatitis of the scalp, and other treatments haven't helped, your doctor may suggest using a steroid shampoo or lotion, often along with an antifungal treatment. One steroid that comes as a lotion or shampoo is betamethasone (brand names include Bettamousse and Betnovate). There hasn't been any good research looking at whether steroid shampoos and lotions can help people with dandruff, but your doctor may think they're worth trying. Steroids can have side effects, but using a steroid shampoo for a short time shouldn't cause serious problems. Possible side effects include thinning of your skin or slight changes of skin colour.

Anything else?
Treatment can help get rid of dandruff, although it often comes back.You may need to use your shampoo for dandruff again from time to time.You may be able to use your shampoo regularly to help stop dandruff coming back. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how often you should be using your treatment.

More Tips On How To Treat Dandruff

No scratchin the scalp. Massage with finger gently while shampooing. No hair gels or any other hair products.

Use shampoo with tea tree oil. Research has shown its usefulness in removing dandruff. One home remedy is boil 2 heaped teaspoons of thyme or tulsi in half litre of water, strain and keep. appling it three time a week and do not rinse it out.

For more severe dandruff, you need to deal with the yeast. This means looking carefully at the small print on the anti-dandruff shampoo in your l ocal pharmacy. You could start by trying a shampoo containing selenium sulphide, which has an anti-yeast effect. Wet your hair, rub the shampoo onto your scalp and rinse off. Repeat, leaving the shampoo for 3-5 minutes before rinsing off. Some shampoos contain zinc pyrithione, another anti-yeast chemical.

The most effective treatment is an anti-yeast shampoo containing ketoconazole, which you can buy from a chemist without a doctor's prescription. Wet your hair, rub the shampoo onto your scalp and rinse off. Repeat, leaving the shampoo for 3-5 minutes before rinsing off. Use it twice a week for 2-4 weeks to clear the dandruff, and then once every 2 weeks, using a normal shampoo in between times.

Self-care is important.You can't prevent dandruff, but you can take steps to reduce your risk:

1.Learn to manage stress. Stress affects your overall health, making you susceptible to a number of conditions and diseases. It can even help trigger dandruff or exacerbate existing symptoms.

2.Shampoo often. If you tend to have an oily scalp, daily shampooing to remove the excess oil may help prevent dandruff.

3.Cut back on styling products. Hair sprays, styling gels, mousses and hair waxes can all build up on your hair and scalp, making them oilier. Some people may even develop allergies to various hair-care products.

4.Eat a healthy diet. For overall good health, include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and small amounts of lean protein in your diet. 5.Get a little sun. Sunlight may be good for dandruff. But because exposure to ultraviolet light damages your skin and increases your risk of skin cancer, don't sunbathe. Instead, just spend a little time outdoors. And be sure to wear sunscreen on your face and body. Some common suggestions that I can give you are you have to limit your sweets and yeast containing food such as bread. Add lots of vitamin B to your diet in the form of fruits and veges.Include Zince in your diet from egg yolks, fish, meat, soyabean. Add lots of omega-3 fatty foods found in the form of salmons. Fish oil capsules also can be used if you are a vegetarian.

Medicated shampoos can help dandruff and itching scalp
Regular washing of the scalp with medicated soaps may be all that is required to relieve itching scalp. The most common anti-dandruff shampoos contain one or more of the following ingredients:
• Tar - shampoos containing tar have been used for years, usually for more severe scalp
conditions. In the past, the scent of the tar-based shampoos made them less acceptable.

However, newer preparations are well tolerated and simple to use.
• Selenium sulphide.
• Zinc pyrithione or zinc omadine.
• Piroctone olamine - this is the most recent addition to the medicated shampoos. It is known as a 'second generation' anti-dandruff agent. It is less toxic than zinc pyrithione and is therefore safer for family use.
• Antifungal agents.

How often to use medicated shampoos
How often you need to use medicated shampoos will depend on how severe your dandruff is and what treatment you are using. Always read the directions on the shampoo pack before using it. Some products are mild enough to be used every day, while others should only be used once a week. Over time, you will work out how often to use the shampoo to keep your dandruff under control.

Where to get help
• Your doctor
• Your local chemist
• Dermatologist

Things to remember • Dandruff affects about 50 per cent of the population.
• Itching scalp can be caused by a number of conditions, including dandruff, seborrhoeic
dermatitis and psoriasis. • Medicated shampoos can be used to treat dandruff and relieve itchy scalp.

Most pharmacies offer specialised shampoos to treat dandruff.  Look for the products containing zinc, selenium sulphide or tar. Tar based shampoos hamper the growth of cells whereby zinc is known to slow cell multiplication. Medicated products containing ketoconazole are antifungal and kill the yeast that feeds on the skin oils.  Leave dandruff shampoos on the scalp for over ten minutes for maximum effectiveness.

However, there are natural ways to address this condition.  Tea tree oil possesses antifungal properties.  Mixing 7 drops of tea tree with a tablespoon of olive oil can be effective when massaged into the scalp and leaving overnight. A teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary mixed with a cup of boiling water is beneficial when strained and cooled. Applied as a rinse each day this will improve circulation and scalp health.

Apple cider vinegar mixed half and half with water provides an excellent rinse after shampooing.  This mixture eradicates bacteria and fungi that bring on dandruff outbreak.
Live yoghurt applied to the affected scalp area and left for thirty minutes will help to kill the problematic bacteria endemic in this condition.


Increasing your intake of selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, B-complex and zinc can combine to address onset of dandruff.  Always seek professional advice when contemplating supplementation.

Omega-3 and 6 are essential fatty acids that are a major key to skin health.  They are part of the formation of each skin cell, preventing dryness and flaking.  Oily fish, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are rich in these nutrients.  Salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel taken three times a week provide rich resources of Omega-3 and 6.  Fish oil capsules may be an alternative for sufferers with an aversion to fish.

Vitamin A may be de deficient in the body prior to dandruff outbreak.  Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are excellent natural sources of this vitamin.




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