Dandruff Treatment in Baltimore, MD
Pityriasis simplex capillitii, known commonly as dandruff, is a condition causing excessive exfoliation (peeling) of the skin of the scalp, which leads to small pieces of dry skin to flake and fall from the scalp and blanket the hair and shoulders. Dandruff is often the source of embarrassment, especially as the condition becomes noticeable when dark clothing is worn; however, dandruff is treatable. As a condition of the scalp, dandruff is not necessarily related to how often you wash your hair, and individual causes may vary by case.
Seeking appropriate professional advice is your first step at identifying the origin of your dandruff flakes. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Baltimore that specializes in dandruff treatment, call (410) 204-2254 or contact Dr. Karen Clarke-Bennett online.
What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is a common condition affecting the scalp which causes small pieces of scalp skin to dry and flake off (exfoliate). While it is normal for skin to exfoliate, when your skin exfoliates at an excessive rate, dandruff may be to blame. The defining symptom of dandruff is white flakes in the hair or on clothing, typically blanketing the collar and shoulders. These flakes may appear oily. Additionally, the scalp may feel itchy or scaly. This condition may worsen during the fall and winter, when indoor heating can contribute to dry skin, and improve during the summer.
Dandruff Prevalence and Causes
Dandruff can affect both men and women, and people of all ages, but is more typically experienced by men. Additionally, those who are predisposed to having oily skin or hair may also be more prone to developing dandruff. Typically, it begins in young adulthood and continues through middle age, though some people may suffer from dandruff for their entire lives. There is a specific type of dandruff called cradle cap that may affect babies, which causes a scaly, crusty scalp. Cradle cap usually clears up on its own, and isn't dangerous.
While the precise cause of dandruff is speculated and remains unknown, the following may be considered possible causes of dandruff:
- Dry skin: People with dry skin, which by nature becomes flaky and peels, are typically at a higher risk of developing dandruff. Unlike people with seborrheic dermatitis, however, dandruff experienced by people with general dry skin is not oily.
- Not enough hair brushing: Brushing your hair too infrequently can put you at a slightly higher risk of developing dandruff because, in effect, no aiding of the shedding of skin which combing or brushing would provide occurs.
- Not enough shampooing: While the research is not conclusive, it is believed that not using enough shampoo may possibly lead to a buildup of oil and dead skin, which can cause dandruff.
Sometimes dandruff might be mistaken for another skin condition which may present the appearance of flaky skin. Related conditions include:
- Seborrheic dermatitis: A medical which causes irritated, oily skin. Patients with seborrheic dermatitis will have red, greasy skin covered by flaky white or yellow scales. In cases of seborrheic dermatitis, the scalp becomes irritated, producing extra skin cells which die too quickly and fall off.
It is important to seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider who can determine whether it is dandruff that ails you or a different skin condition, as well as prescribe an appropriate treatment course.
If you experience or think you are experiencing dandruff, consulting a qualified healthcare provider is important to ensure proper dandruff treatment for your particular case is taken. Typical treatment options will include using a dandruff shampoo, which may be an anti-fungal shampoo. Proper use of your dandruff shampoo is necessary to ensure you experience its full effects and can be discussed with your healthcare provider. Typically, the shampoo must be left on the scalp for 5 or more minutes as, if rinsed out too quickly, the active ingredients will not have enough time to work.
Changing your diet to incorporate foods that are rich in zinc and B vitamins may also be recommended. Green tea has also been suggested to help reduce dandruff and psoriasis. Tea-tree oil, which is commonly an ingredient in many anti-dandruff shampoos, may also be considered. Other natural remedies include applying coconut oil, lemons and aloe vera to your scalp. While lemons can help balance the pH of your scalp, aloe vera can help soothe your skin and diminish the itchiness.
Whatever at-home remedies you elect, it is important to meet with a qualified healthcare provider who can assess your unique dandruff case. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Baltimore that specializes in dandruff treatment, call (410) 204-2254 or contact Dr. Karen Clarke-Bennett online.
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