Dandruff is a common scalp disorder affecting almost half of the population at the post-pubertal age and of any gender and ethnicity. It often causes itching. It has been well established that keratinocytes play a key role in the expression and generation of immunological reactions during dandruff formation. The severity of dandruff may fluctuate with season as it often worsens in winter. Those affected by dandruff find that it can cause social or self-esteem problems, indicating treatment for both psychological and physiological reasons

What causes Dandruff?

Dandruff results from rapid maturing (and hence shedding) of the cells every week, instead of every month.
Excessive oil (sebum) production precipitates dandruff in many people. This over activity could result from more than one reason. The causes, triggering factors and maintaining factors can be categorized as under:

Internal cause:

•    Hormonal imbalance
•    Poor health
•    Emotional stress
•    Excessive consumption of fat starch and sugar
•    Hereditary

External cause:

•    Infection
•    Excessive use of sprays, gels etc
•    Dry indoor heating, cold weather
•    Excessive junk food
•    Improper dieting

Risk factors:

•    Being male. Because more men have dandruff, some researchers think male hormones may play a role. Men also have larger oil-producing glands on their scalps, which can contribute to dandruff.
•    Certain illnesses. For reasons that aren't clear, adults with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, are more likely to develop seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.


For most teens and adults, dandruff symptoms are easy to spot: white, oily looking flakes of dead skin that dot your hair and shoulders, and a possibly itchy, scaly scalp. The condition may worsen during the fall and winter, when indoor heating can contribute to dry skin, and improve during the summer.

A type of dandruff called cradle cap can affect babies. This disorder, which causes a scaly, crusty scalp, is most common in newborns, but it can occur anytime during infancy. Although it can be alarming for parents, cradle cap isn't dangerous and usually clears up on its own by the time a baby is 3 years old.

Diagnosis of dandruff:

While concluding the exact diagnosis of dandruff, your doctor often requires ruling out other underlying diseases, which often resemble present like dandruff: They are

a.    Seborrhoeic dermatitis
b.    Psoriasis
c.    Fungal infection

Your doctor will be able to evaluate your history and the exact diagnosis could be arrived at by a close clinical examination. No biopsy is required.

Treatment of dandruff:

The challenge of treating dandruff lies in the successful control of its relapse. It is not very difficult to treat dandruff for once. However, it is not easy to treat dandruff forever!
The treatment for dandruff should aim at controlling the underlying causing factors as well as the symptoms.

Conventional treatment:

The conventional treatment often treats the end result rather than the root cause of dandruff. Most commonly measures are use of

a. Use of Anti-dandruff shampoo’s
b. Ketoconazole
c. Antifungal shampoo
d. Selenium sulphide

Homeopathic treatment:

Homeopathic treatment aims are treating dandruff in totality. In other words, it treats the underlying cause of dandruff (please check the causes as described above) and hence helps preventing recurrence of dandruff.

The medicines uses for dandruff are geared towards altering the activity of the scalp tissue and therefore slow down the multiplication of the cells of the scalp. Homeopathic medicines possibly depress the abnormal multiplication of cells of the scalp called ‘stratum corneum’. Homeopathic medicines are unique in the respect that they can act as immune-modulators and address underlying immunological parameters while treating dandruff.

Self tips:

•    Wash hair regularly with lukewarm to cold water to keep scalp clean and healthy.
•    Avoid blow drying hair, let hair dry naturally.
•    If you must colour your hair choose ammonia free products
•    Reduce/stop smoking
•   Take 2 tablespoon of roasted powdered flax seeds daily, its good for controlling dandruff.

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