The constant itchiness, a dry scalp, and those snowy flakes everywhere — going through a dandruff phase can be really annoying. Your wardrobe shrinks in size: dark clothes become a no-go.

If you do have dandruff, you are not alone. Research shows that dandruff affects around 50% of people and is one of the most common skin diseases.

But what causes it?

A common misconception is that dirty hair causes dandruff, but that’s not true.

Some common culprits are:

  • Skin that is oily
  • Not shampooing enough
  • Allergies
  • Medical conditions (Seborrheic dermatitis, allergic reactions, psoriasis, eczema )
  • Yeast overgrowth

Are there any people who are more susceptible to dandruff?

Yes, a few risk factors may make you more susceptible to it.

  • Your Age: it starts with young adults, but older people are not safe either.
  • Being male.
  • Certain medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease or HIV (due to a weakened immune system).

Ingredients to Look for in an Anti-Dandruff  Shampoo:

Shampoo being squeezed into a hand

 

Pyrithione zinc: an antifungal drug that kills off the fungus on your scalp contributing toward flaking. Shampoos that contain Pyrithione zinc are gentle and can be used daily.

Selenium sulfide: It reduces fungus while also preventing skin cells from dying. However, you need to consult your doctor before using this if you have blond, gray, or dyed hair since selenium sulfide can change your hair color.

Ketoconazole: this too kills the fungus causing dandruff. It is readily available.

Salicylic acid: before your scalp can flake, salicylic acid removes excess scale from your scalp. It can cause drying out of skin for some people.

Coal tar: it reduces the growth and shedding of skin cells on your scalp as well. Shampoos containing coal tar also change your hair color.

Tea Tree oil: tree tea oil has antifungal properties. In a study conducted in 2012, 5% of tea tree oil shampoo led to less scaling with no side effects. However, some people are allergic to tea tree oil, so better to ask your doctor first.

Whichever anti-dandruff shampoo you go for, make sure you read the instructions and follow them. If you aren’t sure of which shampoo to use, consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice. Dandruff has no cure, but it’s possible to manage it, so don’t give up just yet!

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