Dandruff is a common scalp disorder that occurs due to excessive shedding of the dead skin cells from the scalp, which is characterized by scaling, flaking and itching. Normally, epidermal layer of the skin replaces itself every 28 days, and older layer peels off. In case of dandruff, epidermal layer of the scalp skin proliferates excessively and peels off once in 7 days. Due to excessive proliferation of epidermal cells, the older cells die and shed excessively causing dandruff. Severe form of dandruff is known as seborrhea or Seborrheic dermatitis, which is caused due to inflammation of the scalp skin. Dandruff can be controlled successfully with help of dandruff treatment.
OVER-THE-COUNTER CLEANSERS- The best shampoos available over-the-counter include ketoconazole [Nizerol] shampoo and selenium sulfide [Selsun] shampoo. The proper dandruff treatment at home includes daily scalp wash with any one of these shampoos. People who shampoo or wash the scalp less frequently, are more susceptible to dandruff.
Usually, common dandruff gets cleared by increasing the frequency of shampooing or head wash. If dandruff fails to resolve with ketoconazole or selenium sulfide shampoo, it is advised use shampoos containing tar or salicylic acid twice in a week. Dandruff is a chronic condition, and it may not respond quickly to the dandruff treatment. For better results, it is recommended to follow the dandruff treatment for a long period of time with proper skin and hair care.
OVER-THE-COUNTER CREAMS- Cortisone creams and antifungal creams are available over-the-counter, which can help to resolve seborrhea or seborrheic dermatitis. In dandruff treatment, the skin inflammation in seborrhea can be treated with topical applications of 0.5% cortisone cream or 1% hydrocortisone lotion, for period of two to four weeks. in dandruff treatment, the cortisone cream should be applied to the affected skin three times a day, which help to decrease inflammation.
Though dandruff is not caused due to fungal infection, excessive growth of yeast organisms living on the scalp with seborrhea, builds up scaly areas and worsen the condition. In dandruff treatment, usage of anti-fungal creams to reduce the yeast growth has been proved effective. Over the counter anti-fungal creams include 2% miconazole and 1% clotrimazole, any one of these creams should be applied once or twice a day for seven days. As a part of dandruff treatment, both cortisone and antifungal creams can be used whenever seborrhea recurs.
MEDICATIONS- In dandruff treatment, if over-the-counter cleansers and creams fail to resolve the dandruff significantly, it is advised to consult a dermatologist. The dermatologist’s line of dandruff treatment includes antifungal shampoos, anti-bacterial shampoos and anti-inflammatory creams and lotions. Antifungal shampoos include ketoconazole [Nizerol] shampoo, ciclopirox [Laprox] shampoo, which reduce the yeast count on the skin.
In dandruff treatment, anti-bacterial shampoos play an important role in reducing seborrheic dermatitis, because the skin inflammation is caused due to bacterial over growth on the scalp. Normally, P acne bacteria live on the skin, and they use sebum as food. In seborrheic dermatitis, sebum secretion is usually high on the scalp, which fuels excessive growth of P acne bacteria to cause infection and inflammation. In dandruff treatment, the dermatologist prescribes an anti-bacterial shampoo to check the growth of bacteria. The anti-bacterial shampoos include sulfacetamide [Rosanil], sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur [Clenia] or benzyl peroxide cleansers. Cortisone shampoos prescribed in dandruff treatment include fluocinolone acetonide [Capex] shampoo or clobetasol [Clobex] shampoo can be prescribed to reduce the inflammation of the scalp.
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In dandruff treatment, most dermatologists prescribe combination treatments, which involve usage of several different medicated products at the same time. For mild dandruff, dermatologist advises head wash alternate day with ketoconazole or ciclopirox shampoo. In case of moderate dandruff, he advises daily head wash with ketoconazole or ciclopirox shampoo and application of cortisone [clobetasol] solution once or twice daily to the scalp. In severe dandruff, he advises to follow these steps; Step 1- wash the scalp with cleanser containing tar and rinse it, Step 2- wash the scalp with cleanser containing salicylic acid and rinse it, Step 3- apply ketoconazole or ciclopirox shampoo to the scalp and leave for two to five minutes and rinse it, Step 4- after head wash, apply cortisone [clobetasol] solution to the scalp once or twice in a day.
With dandruff treatment, once the dandruff is under control, it can be prevented in future by practicing good skin and hair hygiene. Everyone experiences dandruff at least once in their life time, irrespective of age and ethnicity. Certainly, dandruff is a cause of concern, because it can cause social or self-esteem problems. Therefore, the dandruff treatment is important for both physiological and psychological reasons