Thursday, March 16, 2006

Health Tips - Control and Keep Dandruff Away

What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is the most common condition affecting the scalp. The medical name for this condition is pityriasis capitis.
Skin is constantly renewing itself and dead cells from the scalp fall off as new cells form beneath them. It is normal to shed some dead skin flakes as the skin is constantly renewing itself. The new cells form in the lower layers. They are gradually pushed to the surface as more new cells form beneath them. By the time they reach the surface, the cells have become flat and overlap each other roof tiles. By then, these cells are dead and are shed from the surface all the time. They are so small that we do not notice this is happening. Everyone loses skin cells in this way, but with dandruff the whole process is faster, so a greater number of cells are shed. The cells are also shed in clumps that are big enough to be seen by the eye as dandruff flakes, particularly when they land on dark clothing. The scalp can also be itchy.
Dandruff usually begins at puberty — about the same time as acne. It's common throughout adolescence and young adulthood and peaks around age 40. But older adults aren't immune, and for some people, the problem can be lifelong.
Because far more men than women have dandruff, some researchers think male hormones may play a role in dandruff. Men also have larger sebaceous glands that produce an oil called sebum. Almost any adult is a candidate for dandruff.

Exactly what causes an overgrowth of these organisms isn't known, although increased oil production, hormonal fluctuations, stress, illness, neurologic disorders such as Parkinson's disease, a suppressed immune system, infrequent shampooing, extra sensitivity to the malassezia fungus and even heredity may contribute to the development of dandruff.

It can be difficult to prevent dandruff completely, but it can be controlled. Mild cases may need nothing more than daily shampooing with a gentle cleanser. And stubborn flakes often respond to medicated shampoos. Dandruff particles are visible flakes of skin that have been continuously shed from the scalp.

Severe or persistent dandruff may be a symptom of eczema, psoriasis or seborrhoeic dermatitis. If your dandruff is very noticeable, very itchy and uncomfortable or hangs on weeks after you have tried to correct it, see a doctor. Look for a shampoo containing tea tree oil. Dandruff is a chronic condition that can almost always be controlled, but it may take a little patience and persistence. In general, mild scaling can often be helped by daily cleansing with a gentle shampoo to reduce oiliness and cell buildup.

Healthy Tips to Control and Keep Dandruff Away

- Limit sugar and yeast: Sweets and yeast-containing foods such as bread, beer and wine may encourage the growth of the fungus that causes dandruff.
-Keep your scalp free from dust
-Use shampoo with Tea Tree Oil.
- Include Omega -3 Fattty acids part of your diet.
- Include zinc in your diet.
-There are plenty of home remedies for dandruff: rubbing a cut onion on your head, massaging your scalp with three-day-old cheese, rinsing with vinegar. Some may actually help, but they leave a lot to be desired, aesthetically speaking. That's why most complementary approaches focus on treating the problem from the inside out — with diet and nutritional supplements.

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