Dandruff: The Complete Guide

understanding effective dandruff treatment

Have you ever felt itchy on the scalp? This is probably a common condition which is called dandruff. It is when the skin on your scalp begins to feel extremely itchy. This condition can become even more bothersome as you grow. It can also be embarrassing for you especially when the feeling of itch happens in public places. However in no way this condition is contagious. And sometimes dandruff treatment can be hard but in other cases, it isn’t so.

In this article, I want to talk in detail regarding what is dandruff condition and how it is something which can be controlled and taken care of. In some cases, the treatment can be as simple as just washing your hair with mild soap. However in other cases, you will need a stronger medicated shampoo to make a difference.

This mild form of seborrheic dermatitis can differ from one person to another. Let’s look into the symptoms, complications, causes and different treatments:

Will I Experience Dandruff?

Let’s begin our discussion by asking the basic question- does dandruff take place in every single person at some point in life? It is a scalp condition which is common. It causes your skin to flake.

Many skin dermatologists suggest that every person will be going through this state at some point in life. It is actually more common as you progress from your teenage years to midlife.

While medically it does not have major impacts on your life, but it does disrupt your usual lifestyle. Mainly with how having the white tiny spots on your shirt can make you embarrassed. Also you will feel itchy and this is the most annoying element and side effect about this condition.

Let’s now look into some of the most common symptoms:

Symptoms of Dandruff

dandruff are white flakes that cause itching

Having flakes and a very itchy scalp is the main sigh of trouble. These oily flakes begin to accumulate on your skin. It also gets worse during fall and winter months. This is because the air is even more dry during this time.

You will notice how your skin will also feel hard and scratchy. A person who is suffering from this condition will be having all the following symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms will be more severe as compared to others.

  • Skin flakes will be visible on your scalp, as well as your hair, eyebrows and even on your beard and mustache.
  • Your itchy scalp will be visibly red. You will feel itchy all the time.
  • There is major scaly and crusty scalp which just gets severe with time if you don’t have treatment done sooner.
  • These signs and symptoms will become even more severe with time.
  • Also you will notice they are increasing when you are stressing out.
  • It is definitely in the case when you are in cold, harsh weather.
  • Some people will get into episodes of depression when they can’t control the condition and there is no effective dandruff treatment

So now that you have a good understanding of the symptoms, I want to talk about the major causes for the same.

Causes of Dandruff

causes of dandruff

While dermatologists haven’t been able to quite figure out how dandruff happens for some people, there are still some reasons as to why it becomes more common in certain cases. I want to talk about some specific conditions which lead to you having severe cases of dandruff.

We have already talked about how seborrheic dermatitis is basically considered an advance form of dandruff. It is a severe skin condition in which you will be having very irritated and oily skin. And it is more complicated and has skin which is red and greasy.

Also you will notice how there are white and yellow flakes and scales due to the same. This condition affects the back of your scalp. As well as the back of the ears and eyebrows.

Dandruff is what you can call as a side effect to this condition. However this is a severe medical issue and does not happen in every person who is suffering from dandruff.

Common Conditions Causing Seborrheic Dermatitis

  • Psoriasis
  • HIV
  • Acne 
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Obesity
  • Having a weak immune system

The symptoms and their severity differs from case to case. Aside from these skin conditions, dandruff can also arise from yeast.

Yeast Infection

Did you know that experts have figured out that there is a fungus from which this actually arises. Malassezia is basically a fungus which is common on the scalp. It actually feeds on the oils which come from your hair follicles.

But here’s the thing- this fungus on it’s own is not troublesome. But the problem happens when some immune systems in humans will reach to it in extremely strong ways.

When this happens, it makes the scalp irritated. And when the irritation happens, it leads to the production of extra skin cells.

And when these extra skin cells will die, they actually fall off. When that happens, they will be mixing with the oil and it leads to the formation of dandruff.

Shampoos and Skincare

your shampoo impacts your scalp health

Sometimes the reason as to why dandruff is building profusely on your scalp and there is no control on the condition can lie around the simple fact- you are using the wrong shampoo. There are certain hair care products which cause irritation on your scalp.

This in turn leads to dandruff formation. When a person is suffering from the same, the most basic treatment is to just switch the shampoo. This means moving onto a gentle, non-medicated shampoo.

Also in some cases, people are actually not even shampooing properly and enough. This leads to a heavy buildup of oil on their scalp. Also when it mixes with the accumulation of dead skin cells, it will lead to the creation of dandruff.

Diet and Other Factors

Besides these, what you consume can also play a key role in the buildup of dandruff on your scalp. There are certain food items which you consume which can cause problems in your hair. While the list of food items which cause you to have a itchy scalp are endless, I want to touch upon a few essential nutrients that you should be having in your diet. These include:

  • Zinc
  • B vitamins
  • Omega-6 fat
  • Iron

Having these in your diet help you to have a healthy scalp. And when you have a healthy scalp, it reduces the chances of you suffering from itchy scalp.

S0 now that you have a good understanding and grip on what is dandruff and its symptoms and causes, let’s talk about dandruff treatment. Specifically natural remedies that work in many cases.

Natural Remedies for Dandruff Treatment

home remedies that work for dandruff treatment

While you may get to know of some over-the-top topical medications and even special, medicated shampoos for the treatment of this condition. Turns out you can make effective use of natural remedies which allow you to control and treat the condition in a better way.

Let’s check what these are:

Using Tea Tree Oil

This is the oldest and most effective formula in the book. While initially it was more so used for treating conditions like acne, it has come to be known that this oil actually has great antimicrobial properties too. So this makes it super effective in combating the growth of fungi and bacteria on your scalp.

People can also make use of it by adding a few drops of this oil into their regular shampoo. It becomes highly effective in combating and controlling the condition.

Lemongrass Oil

This too is one of the best and most effective remedies which helps to combat the dandruff symptoms. In the same way as tea tree oil, you can dilute this oil by mixing it with water or using it in combination with a regular shampoo.

Aloe Vera Gel

This is considered as a major succulent plant which has major healing properties. It is used in various ways as it has a high content of amino acids and antioxidants. Both of these help to reduce the dandruff in your hair.

Aloe vera has various winning properties including being antifungal as well as antibacterial. You can take the gel and apply directly to scalp or mix it with some water or curd and create a hair mask.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These are known to be very effective when trying to reduce the blood pressure. It is also very good when it comes controlling the effects of dry skin. Including having very brittle nails.  It also works great when trying to manage oil production, combats inflammation causes as well as improves hydration and works well in reducing the signs of aging.


Dandruff is a common skin condition. It happens to many people. But it is not something which impacts your health. That doesn’t mean it is not irritating and embarrassing. In this article, I looked into and talked about the dandruff symptoms and causes. Also I shared in detail some of the leading ways in which you can get dandruff treatment through home remedies. They help to combat and control the situation to a certain extent.




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